Requires the office of temporary and disability assistance to promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to remove the word handicapped from any signs or means of communication where such word appears; further requires that anywhere where it is required that the current universal symbol of access of figure in a wheelchair appear that such signage instead depict a logo with a dynamic character leaning forward with a sense of movement; applies only to new signs.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to certain signs relating to accessibility
PURPOSE: The purpose of this legislation to update the signage related to accessibility by abolishing word combinations such as "handicapped accessible".
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Section 20 of the Social Services Law is amended by adding a new subdivision 9 to read as follows: 9. The office of temporary and disability assistance shall promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to remove the word "handicapped" from any signs or means of communication where such work appears. Such office shall further require that anywhere where it is required that the current universal symbol of access of figure in a wheelchair appear that such signage for accessibility instead depict a logo with a dynamic character leaning forward with a sense of movement. The provisions of this subdivision shall only apply to any new signs being implemented on and after the effective date of this subdivision.
Section 2. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph (b) of subdivision 20 of section 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law is amended by adding the following: The commissioner shall require that any new signage relating to accessibility implemented on or after the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand fourteen which amended this subparagraph depict a logo with a dynamic character leaning forward with a sense of movement.
Section 3. Establishes the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: In 1990, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted by Congress. The ADA's purpose was to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability in the public or private sector. The ADA's Title II and III prohibit the discrimination of individuals who are disabled in regards to public accommodations. Examples include places of lodging, recreation, education, transportation, stores, and public displays. The ADA further provides that signage must be present at such sites indicating accessibility.
The current signage usually includes the two word combination: "handicapped accessible". Many disability advocacy organizations are advocating for the use of the word 'accessible' and eliminating the word 'handicapped'. Representatives of such groups maintain a 'people first' perspective so that the emphasis is on the person rather than the disability itself. Organizations taking this position include the National Disability Rights Network, United Spinal Association, Westchester Disabled on the Move. Inc., and the Center for Disability Rights, Inc.
People with Disabilities Rights representatives are also advocating for a revamped International Symbol of Access (ISA). The ISA is used worldwide to indicate accessibility for those with disabilities. The current symbol is a person seated in a wheelchair. Advocates prefer
the symbol to include a more dynamic person in the wheelchair. Federal and state officials have accepted slight modifications on the ISA. The Accessible icon Project is advocating for the new figure, and New York City has already adopted the redesigned icon.
This legislation would correct a situation where language that is considered outdated, derogatory and offensive by many with disabilities and those closest to them is eliminated. The removal of the word 'handicapped' and substitution of a dynamic person in a wheelchair broadcasts and important message that a person may have a disability but is not to be defined by it.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This legislation has no fiscal implications since only new signage will incorporate the changed language and icon.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6846 IN SENATE March 19, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to certain signs relating to accessibility THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 20 of the social services law is amended by adding a new subdivision 9 to read as follows: 9. THE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE SHALL PROMULGATE ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO REMOVE THE WORD "HANDICAPPED" FROM ANY SIGNS OR MEANS OF COMMUNICATION WHERE SUCH WORD APPEARS. SUCH OFFICE SHALL FURTHER REQUIRE THAT ANYWHERE WHERE IT IS REQUIRED THAT THE CURRENT UNIVERSAL SYMBOL OF ACCESS OF FIGURE IN A WHEELCHAIR APPEAR THAT SUCH SIGNAGE FOR ACCESSIBILITY INSTEAD DEPICT A LOGO WITH A DYNAMIC CHARACTER LEANING FORWARD WITH A SENSE OF MOVEMENT. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL ONLY APPLY TO ANY NEW SIGNS BEING IMPLEMENTED ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION. S 2. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph (b) of subdivision 20 of section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 242 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: (2) The universal handicapped symbol shall be conspicuously displayed on the exterior of every omnibus equipped with a wheelchair lift which transports children with disabilities. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations regarding the size and location of such universal hand- icapped symbol. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REQUIRE THAT ANY NEW SIGNAGE RELATING TO ACCESSIBILITY IMPLEMENTED ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN WHICH AMENDED THIS SUBPARAGRAPH DEPICT A LOGO WITH A DYNAMIC CHARACTER LEANING FORWARD WITH A SENSE OF MOVEMENT. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11777-01-3