Building on the campaign by Grace Warnock, StudioLR (funded by Life Changes Trust) has designed a new ‘Any Disability’ symbol to encourage awareness of people with invisible disabilities.
(Wednesday 5th June), Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian, will
lead a Commons debate on invisible disabilities and accessibility challenges.
debate in the Commons’ Main Chamber will also see the formal launch a new Any Disability symbol to more accurately represent
the full range of people with various disabilities who use accessible toilets
and other facilities.
The development of the new sign was
inspired by the success of the Grace’s Sign campaign, developed by Mr
Whitfield’s constituent Grace Warnock, a pupil at Preston Lodge High School in
Prestonpans. Grace, who has Crohn’s Disease, designed her sign following her
own experience of using accessible toilets, including receiving negative
remarks from adults who did not appreciate or understand her disability.
Grace has received high level
recognition for her inspirational campaign, including a Points of Light Award
from the Prime Minister and a British Citizen Youth Award.
The new Any Disability symbol has
been designed by StudioLR as an evolution of Grace’s Sign with the aim of
becoming recognised by the British Standards Institution as the generally
accepted sign for accessible facilities, including toilets, parking areas and
Speaking ahead of the debate, Martin Whitfield MP said:
impact of accessibility challenges faced by those living with ‘invisible’
disabilities has too often been overlooked or ignored.
to the dedicated work of numerous charities and inspirational individual
campaigners like Grace Warnock, the issue is finally starting to receive the
attention it deserves.
“This Commons debate will
provide another opportunity for MPs to speak out on behalf of their
constituents who live with hidden disabilities and describe the challenges and
negative responses they can experience while going about their daily lives.
“I hope the debate will help
to increase awareness around these complicated issues and lead to greater
understanding about the daily challenges faced by so many people living with a
wide range of conditions.”
Lucy Richards, Creative Director at StudioLR, who designed the new sign, said:
“The wheelchair symbol
is commonly used on accessible toilet signs and Blue Badge parking permits,
however this symbol doesn’t represent the people with wide-ranging
impairments who use these facilities and services.
Having followed Grace Warnock’s campaign to raise awareness that some people who use accessible toilets have an invisible disability (for instance Crohn’s disease or dementia) the design team at StudioLR saw an opportunity to build on this. With a Life Changes Trust Award (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund) StudioLR has conceived, designed and tested a new, inclusive symbol that can be rolled out across toilets, parking signs and assistance points. Testing was facilitated by Innovations in Dementia.
We created the
new Any Disability symbol because people with a hidden disability have
the right to access facilities and services without having to explain their
personal circumstances. It’s about building awareness as well as preventing
Grace Warnock said:
“The story of my sign
came from my own experience of an adult questioning my use of an accessible
toilet this ignorance drove me to design the first Grace’s Sign to educate
others on invisible disabilities and to encourage everyone to have a heart”