A blog about universal and accessible design

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Manifest Hope Posters

Image via Manifest Hope: "Yes We Can" Poster by Christopher Tucker. Three vertical US flags with symbols for "the green economy" (CFL light bulb), "workers' unity" (hand gripping a wrench), and "health care reform" (caduceus) in the blue fields.

This is one of fifteen posters chosen for Manifest Hope, a contest for politically-themed posters in time for the inauguration (slideshow of all winners here). These provide an nice snapshot of different strains in poster art-- ranging from the very handmade or painterly to a more glossy advertising style. It strikes me, though, that health care is very difficult to capture in visual language. The poster above is not from the health care section-- those ones are:
Obama for All America by Derek Gores. I guess the main representation of "health care" is the Red Cross here; though clearly the persona of the President is central. The focus is the author of the policy.

Potion Bottle-Hope by Marc Petrovic. I find this one a bit unsettling: a sterile glass bottle (which looks like a wine bottle) with four "hope" pills stacked inside. In the Brave New World version of the Obama administration, hope is a pill distributed by the government.

CaduceUS by Ian Simmons. I guess the caduceus is the default symbol for care-- overlaid with the red and blue of partisan politics, it makes its message clear. I do like the simple clarity of the image. If I go a bit further, I could say that if the first image puts health care in the hands of the Prez, this one puts it in medical professionals'.

Health Care Equals Justice by Esperanza Macias. It's the most metaphoric in some ways (statue of liberty in a life raft on a sea of diseases) and yet the most literal: Universal Health care "rescues" America from a whole load of diseases.

U.S. Health Care Just Ill by Sharee Davis. Sometimes words work better than images. I like the directness of this-- it really conveys a feeling of crisis, as well as frustration of something so basic not being available.

It does seem like someone is missing.. the patient/citizen? But overall, a rich group of different graphic strategies. Do you have a favorite political issue graphic/poster? I like this one, which I don't think was ever an official ADAPT poster:

from Microcosm Publishing

Sunday, January 11, 2009

inaugural inaccessibility

Sounds like there is not very good planning/accommodations for people with disabilities at the inauguration:
ABC affliliate: Disabled Citizens Say Inauguration Events Too Difficult to Attend
Stephen Kuusisto comments:
As the above article suggests, people at the Obama inauguration committee say that they've done all they can do to make the proceedings accesible. I believe them though not because I think they've turned earth and sky upside down but because the relative "built in" inaccessibility of our nation's second rate public transportation system and our inability to build disability into the first tier of event planning are commonplace matters that all pwds can relate to. "Oh," someone says after the first plans for moving crowds and setting up seats, "Oh, yeah there will be disabled people, we better figure out what to do about them." By then its too late.

It seems like an extra disappointment because the DC Metro is one of the more accessible systems in America (maybe the world?). I also think this sets some really bad principles out for high-stress, emergency type situations like the WTC attacks and Katrina, where we have all seen that people with disabilities end up in way more danger than others. If you plan an event and just say "people with disabilities, we suggest you do not attend," you are not really confronting the real issues about what it is like to hold large, public events. Not to mention the symbolism of more or less disinviting disabled or older folks to what the new administration is claiming to be "the most open and accessible Inauguration in American history" (from a letter I received from Obama-Biden since I volunteered for their campaign). I really think we need to examine how logistical complications become an easy go-to for exclusion or prejudice in "homeland security" contexts.