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On Monday, August 18, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery became the latest Einstein/MossRehab campus to adopt the new Accessible Icon Project icon to mark designated accessible parking spaces for persons with disabilities and became—according to the Accessible Icon Project—the first organization in Central Montgomery County to use it. Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Chief Operating Officer Beth Duffy, MossRehab Clinical Manager/Physical Therapist Michael Parlatore PT, DPT, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Director of Facilities Michael Wilson and Assistant Director of Facilities Al Perry painted the first of the new icons at a parking spot located right near the Jane and Leonard Korman Family Healing Garden.
Earlier this summer, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia/MossRehab Tabor Road, and Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park/MossRehab’s flagship facility, switched all of their accessible parking spaces to the new icon, making Einstein Healthcare Network the first hospital/hospital system in Philadelphia to do so.Over time, all of Einstein Healthcare Network/MossRehab campuses will have their old accessible parking spaces, and eventually all exterior and interior signage, swapped out to the new icon.According to the Accessible Icon Project website, (accessibleicon.org) the old icon, while a milestone in ADA history, displays passivity: its arms and legs are drawn like mechanical parts, its posture is unnaturally erect, and its entire look is one that makes the chair, not the person, important and visible. The new icon, however, shows the wheelchair user leaning forward with arms bent backwards and the wheel features angled cutouts, all of which depict motion and independence."All MossRehab and Einstein Healthcare Network campuses are places that honor and respect people with disabilities," said Leah Serao, Project Coordinator for the Accessible Icon Project. "We are so excited that they chose to evolve their accessible symbol to reflect their beliefs through an image that highlights movement and action. Their decision to use the Accessible Icon co-aligns with their—particularly through MossRehab—commitment to using advocacy and education as a way to move forward in the field of medical rehabilitation, and since the symbol is a breeding ground for conversation about accessibility, inclusion, and disabilities, Einstein can engage in these discussions with the broader community."*The Accessible Icon Project does not charge organizations to use their accessible icon design, but individuals and organizations can purchase a ready-made stencil of the design. Einstein Healthcare Network Sr. Communications Manager Kerry O'Connor who spearheaded the project,donated--along with his wife Dr. Adriana Torres-O'Connor--the icon stencil to MossRehab/Einstein Healthcare Network.