(つ◔౪◔)つ━☆゚.*・。゚ The 2021 TKSST Gift Guide ✩°。⋆・゚  
Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

What does the wheelchair symbol actually mean?

Watch more with these video collections:

Some of the world’s most recognizable symbols exist to sell products. Others, to steer traffic or advance political causes. But there’s one whose main purpose is to help people. You may know it as the wheelchair symbol, but its formal title is the International Symbol of Access. But what does the symbol actually mean? And what is its purpose?

This global symbol, sometimes referred to as the wheelchair or ‘handicap’ symbol, was locally updated both formally and informally in 2014 to depict a more dynamic and active posture. It’s even an emoji. But associating human impairments with the wheelchair alone has been challenging for those with disabilities who do not require a wheelchair.

In 2011, the World Health Organization estimated that one billion people around the globe experience some form of disability, yet people who use wheelchairs are estimated around 65 million. Is the current symbol appropriate for what it’s meant to do? Is there a symbol that could better represent accessibility? This TED Ed by Adrian Treharne explores these questions.

Next: Jerry Ford’s automatic wheelchair brake device, Behind the Signs: A Look at the DOT Sign Shop, and Sesame Street’s How Communication Works.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Charles and Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten (1977)

Rion Nakaya

Geometry of Circles (1979) with Sesame Street and Philip Glass

Rion Nakaya

The incredible secret life of London’s bees

Rion Nakaya

Jerry Ford’s automatic wheelchair brake device

Rion Nakaya

The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can

Rion Nakaya

Kindness, a Thought Bubble by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Rion Nakaya

The Solar Do-Nothing Machine by Charles and Ray Eames

Rion Nakaya

How a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s Shinkansen

Rion Nakaya

Elements of Art and Design for BBC Scotland

Rion Nakaya