New signs for accessible parking create much-needed change

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COLUMBIA- Parking signs around the University of Missouri campus have been updated recently, to reflect new sensitivities to people with disabilities.

What once said "handicapped" and showed a figure sitting upright in a wheelchair, now shows the figure and wheelchair in obvious forward motion. It's called the active symbol.

"I think some people might think maybe this doesn't matter, they might think who cares what signs say," said Ellie Stitzer, President of the Mizzou Unity Coalition, which secured a grant to pay for the signs.

Stitzer said she believes changing the signs will impact people's perceptions about disabilities.

Some people have noticed the symbol change.

"There was somebody that was getting a tour of campus and he uses a wheelchair and he saw the signs and said 'Oh my gosh they have us moving now', coalition member Alexis Cettina said. "He got so excited because the perception of the symbol changes the way people think about disabilities."

For now, the signs are placed in a few popular parking areas like the Student Center and near Jesse Hall.