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Holland Bloorview repaints accessibility symbol to support growing provincial movement
Holland Bloorview repaints accessibility symbol to support growing provincial movement

TORONTO, ON (August 17, 2017) – On Thursday, August 17, children and families of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and community will paint accessible parking spots in the hospital’s parking lot in effort to drive social justice and spearhead a movement to update the accessibility symbol across Ontario. The updated symbol will emphasize ability and the individual, and call for the rest of the province to replace the current static symbol – developed nearly 50 years ago.

“This is an important step forward for us and for families and kids with disabilities, because it helps inform and shape how people see disability. Symbols should represent the population they serve,” says Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview. “It takes a community to create change. Today, we’re making a very visual commitment to supporting and endorsing The Forward Movement’s efforts to transform the symbol in the province. Together, we believe we can make a real difference.”

Holland Bloorview’s endorsement of The Forward Movement – a grassroots organization initiated by Jonathan Silver and Dylan Itzikowitz – is part of a growing international movement that over the last five years has led to the adoption of the updated symbol in American states such as New York and Connecticut; and cities including Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Phoenix, Arizona. Apple Inc. has also embedded the new symbol on iPhone keyboards.

"The Forward Movement hopes that the change in the symbol from a stationary wheelchair, which focuses on disability, to one that emphasizes a person moving forward, highlighting ability, will act as a catalyst to promote physical and social inclusion for people of all abilities. With the support of organizations such as Holland Bloorview, we hope to spark conversations that will educate people about the importance of removing barriers—both physical and cultural—and make our society more accessible and inclusive for everyone,” says Dylan Itzikowitz, co-founder, The Forward Movement.

As Canada’s largest rehabilitation hospital for children and youth who have a wide variety of disabilities, conditions and injuries, an important part of Holland Bloorview’s mission is to promote equity and drive social justice for people with disabilities. The updated accessibility symbol will encourage people to rethink their understanding of disability and inspire them to take action in other ways that promote equality, diversity, and inclusion.

The event will take place at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (parking lot) on Thursday, August 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

To learn more, visit

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About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital. We focus on improving the lives of kids with disabilities, kids needing rehabilitation after illness or trauma and kids whose medical complexity requires specialized care. We serve nearly 7,500 children and youth annually accounting for over 1,000 unique diagnoses. The hospital is a global leader in childhood disability research, teaching, and client and family centred care.

About The Forward Movement

The Forward Movement is an accessibility advocacy and awareness campaign working to bring the Dynamic Symbol of Access to Ontario and Canada; to promote the physical and social inclusion for people of ALL abilities.

For more information, please contact:

Alexandra Babakhanova

Communications Associate

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

416-425-6220 ex. 6263