Chapter 5.6: Campus environment accessibility - Symbols of accessibility

5.6.1. International Symbol of Accessibility

  • According to the Design Manual Barrier Free Access 2008 published by the HKSAR Buildings Department, the International Symbol of Accessibility (Figure 1) should be provided at conspicuous location to signify accessible facilities for people with disabilities such as the accessible entrance to the building and accessible toilets.

The International Symbol of Accessibility. An outline of a wheelchair user facing the right side.

Figure 1. The International Symbol of Accessibility

  • Besides following the regulation of the Design Manual Barrier Free Access 2008, other factors may be considered when determining the usage of the ISA. Since the ISA features a referent of “wheelchair user”, it is possible to convey an impression that signified facilities are only eligible for the use of wheelchair users.
  • If the accessibility of certain facilities is mainly for wheelchair users, such as stairlift, then the ISA may be used to signify them. However, if certain facilities are intended to be accessible to not only wheelchair users, such as the Assistive Technology Room in the university library, then the appropriateness of using the ISA as signification may be reconsidered.

5.6.2. Other examples of symbols of accessibility-related contexts

  • Consult the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association about the logo of “Welcome guide dogs and guide dogs in training”.
  • The “T” indicates the availability of assistive listening system as a hearing loop (Figure 2). This symbol can be attached to somewhere in lecture theaters and classrooms to indicate the availability of the assistive listening system in this venue.

The Access for Hearing Loss symbol. A graphic of an ear with a thick diagonal line crossing through it between the top right corner and the bottom left corner. A capital letter T at the bottom right corner of the ear graphic.

Figure 2. The Access for Hearing Loss symbol

  • The sign language interpretation symbol (Figure 3) can be used to indicate the availability of sign language interpretation service for that event.

Sign language interpretation. Two hands demonstrating gesture of okay. Fingers of the left hand pointing upwards and fingers of the right hand pointing downwards.

Figure 3. Sign language interpretation

  • The audio description symbol can be used to indicate the availability of audio description service (e.g. for a movie; for a guided tour). Visual information is described in spoken language to facilitate people with visual impairment to understand what it is going on about. If these visual contents are not verbally transcribed, this part of content will become inaccessible to people with visual impairment.

Audio description. Two capital letters A and D, with the A on the left and the D on the right. Three right parenthesis next to the right side of the capital letter D.

Figure 4. Audio description

5.6.3. References