Markley Opposes Changes to Handicapped Sign

February 24, 2016

Hartford-State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) testified Monday against House Bill 5050, AN ACT MODERNIZING THE SYMBOL OF ACCESS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, which would replace the traditional handicapped symbol used to preserve priority places for persons with disabilities with a new symbol.

“This proposed bill strikes me as a prime example of our political disinclination to leave well enough alone,” said Senator Markley. “The proposal to make the new icon a legal requirement in Connecticut is driven, in my opinion, by an ostensibly progressive tendency to find fault with what exists, without recognizing either the advantages of current arrangements or the potential downside of change.”

“The accessibility icon has been in use internationally for over forty years, achieving universal recognition. Its use is currently dictated by both the U.S. Access Board, the agency responsible for developing the federal criteria for accessible design, and the International Standards Organization. Just last year, the Federal Highway Administration reconfirmed its commitment to this well-established symbol, rejecting use of the revised design.

Markley also commented on how the new law may burden businesses who are mandated to display handicapped signs. “This new proposed icon has been approved only by the state of New York and the city of Phoenix, creating a Catch-22 businesses there, which either must display the new symbol and risk violating federal law, or display the established symbol and fail to comply with state law,” Markley said. “There is no reason to put our businesses in such a bind.”

“With our state in a fiscal crisis, we should avoid dubious symbolic gestures like this unnecessary bill.”