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LaFave’s accessibility icon bills approved by Michigan House

Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, displays an updated handicapped parking sign on the House floor. The sign includes a new icon, which portrays active independence, rather than stationary helplessness.

IRON MOUNTAIN – State Rep. Beau LaFave’s plan to update the accessibility icon used on signs and in parking lots and buildings in Michigan, better reflecting the lifestyles of people with disabilities, has been unanimously approved by the state House.

The legislation requires any new placement or replacement of signs displaying the international symbol of access to utilize the updated logo, which portrays active independence rather than stationary helplessness. The legislation would only require newly placed or replaced signs to portray the updated icon, and would not force business owners to replace existing signs.

Michigan wouldn’t be the first to adopt the new icon. New York and Connecticut have already implemented the new representation.

“Updating this logo sends a message that individuals with disabilities play an active role in our communities,” said LaFave, R-Iron Mountain. “Anyone who knows me knows this isn’t a matter of political correctness, it’s simply about showing the true relationship between people and the devices that assist them.

“I know what it’s like to live a very normal and active life with a disability. I’m proud to advocate for this simple but important change.”

LaFave’s measure would also take steps to remove the term “handicapped” from signs at state and local levels.

LaFave also drafted a floor amendment to further clarify that the Department of Civil Rights would not have the ability to fine or prosecute any business for existing signage displaying the old logo or using the term handicapped.

House Bills 4516 and 4517 now move to the Senate for further consideration.

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