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Dynamic Wheelchair Symbol Signs Used in New York and Connecticut

New York Dynamic Wheelchair Symbol Signs

ADA Signs with the Dynamic, Active-Style Wheelchair Symbol used in New York, Connecticut, and Elsewhere

This page shows some of our standard ADA compliant layouts using the NY/CT compliant dynamic wheelchair accessible symbol in place of the standard ISA (International Symbol of Accessibility).

Please note: We can make any sign shown on, or any custom designed signage you need, using this active-style, dynamic wheelchair symbol. During checkout, in the field beneath the words Job Details for ADA Sign Depot,  write any special instructions for your order, such as: Use Dynamic Wheelchair Symbol. It's as easy as that. But if you have any questions, please contact us.

This modern design, active-style Wheelchair Symbol is required in New York and Connecticut, and is becoming popular elsewhere. While the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has not accepted any alternative to the compliant International Symbol of Accessibility, in 2014 New York State passed a law to require the use of an alternative wheelchair symbol, and to prohibit the use of the word "handicap/handicapped" on signs of accessibility. In 2016, Connecticut became the second state to legislate the use of this contemporary wheelchair symbol on signage. The symbol is variously called the active-style wheelchair, action-style wheelchair, dynamic wheelchair symbol, or New York style wheelchair symbol.

New York Dept. of State, Division of Administrative Rules: Dynamic Wheelchair Symbol

PART 300
(Statutory authority: Executive Law, § 101; ch. 190, L. 2014)

§ 300.1 Purpose.
The intent of this regulation is to comply with Executive Law, section 101(1), which directs the Secretary of State to promulgate rules and regulations related to removing the word “handicapped” wherever it appears on signs or other means of communication, and to changing the current accessibility symbol.

§ 300.2 Effect.
This Part shall apply only to any signs installed on and after November 22, 2014, whether installed in a location where no sign was previously posted or installed to replace a sign.

§ 300.3 Intent.
The intent of this regulation is to remove the word “handicapped” wherever it appears on signs or other means of communication as detailed in section 300.4 of this part and to implement the use of the accessibility icon described and illustrated in sections 300.5 and 300.6 of this Part on signage designating accessible facilities. No other criteria, which may be applicable to accessibility signage, including but not limited to coloring schemes, sizing parameters or placement requirements, is considered by this Part.

§ 300.4 Accessibility Wording.
The word “handicapped” shall be removed from any signs or other means of communication where such word appears; the word “accessible” may be used in its place.

§ 300.5 Accessibility Symbol.
Wherever the universal symbol of access depicting a static figure in a wheelchair appears or would appear on signs and on other means of communication, a symbol depicting a dynamic character leaning forward and with a sense of movement shall appear instead.

FAQs About the NY/CT Compliant Active-Style Wheelchair Symbol

Q: Is it up to me which wheelchair symbol to use on my ADA signs? Can I use the active-style wheelchair symbol on my public access property? Or only if my property is in NY or CT?

A: Sorry, but choosing a wheelchair symbol is covered by regulations and is not a matter of personal preference, if you want to be sure your signs and property are in compliance. It's a bit complicated, which is why we strongly advise in this situation and others, that you consult with any access inspectors/authorities on your project and get their approval before ordering signs using alternative symbols of accessibility. Yes, even if your project is in NY or CT, it still worthwhile to check with any inspectors having authority over your project's approval. Why do we advise that? Because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the law of the land, and the ADA does not recognize the NY/CT active-style wheelchair symbol, or any other alternative symbols, as being in compliance with ADA regulations. Only the traditional International Symbol of Accessibility is fully ADA compliant.

Q: What is the intention of this new style of symbol for accessibility, with the wheelchair implying movement?

A: Mario Cuomo, Governor of New York Start: "One of the largest concerns is that existing signage and language emphasizes the disability itself, rather than the person. The current universal symbol for a person with a disability represents an individual with a wheelchair, which will be updated on all new signage to portray a more active image. (The dynamic wheelchair symbol is intended to) update and destigmatize the accessibility logo. Additionally, the word handicapped will be removed from signs, or any other communication, now using only the word accessible." (

Q: Not everyone is a wheelchair athlete. What about people who don’t push their chairs with their own arms?

A: From The arm pushing a chair is symbolic—as all icons are symbols, not literal representations. Our symbol speaks to the general primacy of personhood, and to the notion that the person first decides how and why s/he will navigate the world, in the broadest literal and metaphorical terms. To us, this evokes the disability rights mantra that demands “nothing about us without us.”