OCEANSIDE — Scaling glaciers, skiing cliffs, ripping the surf and competing in triathalons are physical challenges for any athlete, but Cardiff resident and extreme sports athlete Jeremy McGhee tackles them all without the use of his legs.
Partially paralyzed after an accident in 2001, Jeremy, like many of today’s wounded warriors, is helping redefine society’s attitudes about accessibility.
On March 8, Tri-City Medical Center, in partnership with Clarks Americas, joined forces with McGhee to become the first facility in California to adopt an updated icon for handicapped accessibility. The Accessible Icon Project is a global movement to transform the old International Symbol of Access into a new active, engaged image.
Tri-City Healthcare District Board of Directors, the mayors of Oceanside and Vista, Tri-City Medical Center leadership, doctors, staff and others from the community repainted 50 handicap parking spots at the Hospital’s main campus at 4002 Vista Way.
“The old symbol no longer accurately depicts the extraordinary people in our community who use wheelchairs,” said Casey Fatch, interim CEO of Tri-City Medical Center. “This new icon is the future – and we thought it was up to the medical community to lead on this issue. This new icon reflects Tri-City’s commitment to treating our patients with caring, dignity, kindness and respect.”
The Accessible Icon Project founders Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney, sought to update the old image, which was created in 1968, to change how people with disabilities are perceived. The old icon is passive and static. Its arms and legs are drawn like mechanical parts, its posture is unnaturally erect, and it puts the chair first, not the person. Conversely, the new icon represents activity and forward momentum. For more information on the Accessible Icon Project, visit accessibleicon.org/.