A new icon is available to indicate accessibility in the City of Phoenix.

A new icon is available to indicate accessibility in the City of Phoenix.

This morning, a group gathers in the Phoenix City Hall to announce the launch and allowed use of a new symbol designating accessibility (you can see it above). It’s been a long time coming.

The new icon is described as “reflecting a disabled community that is active, motivated and determined.” Phoenix is the first Arizona city to adopt the icon.

Mayor Greg Stanton will speak at the event at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Also offering remarks will be Alisa Blandford, Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department Director; Edward Kim, President & General Manager of Cigna; and Jennifer Longdon, disabled rights advocate (and a neighbor of mine!).

As an Arizona Republic article has explained, Cigna was the company in Arizona that instigated the requested use. The new icon was designed by Sara Hendren, a professor of design at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. She also helped found the Accessible Icon Project, “a group dedicated to providing people with supplies and services they need to make the switch.”

As the Accessible Icon Project so well describes it:

“The symbol does not ‘represent’ people with disabilities, but symbolizes the idea that all people with disabilities can be active and engaged in their lived environment. Our active accessibility symbol helps re-imagine how society and individuals view people with disabilities.”

The Project also provides a timeline of sorts of accessibility icons over time:

Accessibility icons through the years (from the Accessible Icon Project)

Accessibility icons through the years (from the Accessible Icon Project)

Below you can see the symbol that is being phased out (it is called the International Symbol of Access, which was created in 1969). Congratulations to the City of Phoenix for your leadership in this area.

This accessibility icon, designed in 1969, may become less prevalent in Phoenix.

This accessibility icon, designed in 1969, may become less prevalent in Phoenix.

Judge Randall Howe, Sept. 27, 2012

On September 27, I had the privilege to attend a judge’s investiture—that event where a judge is sworn in, robed, given a gavel and sent off to write (many) opinions.

I’ve attended many swearings-in over the years, and a good number have been for people I had come to know well. And Thursday last was another in a great roster of such events. On that day, Randall Howe was sworn in as a Judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Besides being a terrific appellate lawyer, Randy (as we called him until the event) is the chair of the Arizona Attorney Magazine Editorial Board.

(Years ago, another Randy—Randall Warner—was a chair of the same board when he was sworn in as a judge. Hon. Randall Warner is on the bench in the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County. And no, not all of our chairs must be named Randy.)

The opening to Randy Howe’s article, April 2011.

Judge Howe’s investiture was special for a few other reasons. For example, it was held at the Disability Empowerment Center in Phoenix, a site that Judge Howe had spent much time supporting over the years.

The remarks by friends and colleagues also made this a remarkable investiture. The best such speeches reveal a part of the new judge we may not have known. And the speakers—Joe Mikitish, Joe Maziarz, Karla Delord and Phil Boas—certainly did that.

Their comments described many parts of Randy’s work and personality. And in so doing, they praised a man for rising so very high in a difficult profession, all while meeting head-on the challenges of cerebral palsy. That, and many things, make him a terrific choice as a new appellate judge.

Congratulations, Judge Howe.

Judge Randall Howe has written for Arizona Attorney before; read his article here.

More photos are at the magazine Facebook page.