SMA News Forums Forums Awareness and Advocacy Disability in Media Mixed Feelings on Rebranding

  • Mixed Feelings on Rebranding

    Posted by deann-r on May 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

    I have mixed feelings on the rebranding of the organization I received my service dog through.  They announced they’re dropping Independence from the title.  Now they’re going with Canine Companions.  In this way, it will be easier to say and remember and won’t be abbreviated to CCI.  Not only that, their logo is changing.  Instead of the silhouette of a person in a wheelchair & dog they’re replacing it with a simple silhouette of a handler with their dog.  Apparently the outline loosely resembles a heart.  The person is in the shape of an “i” to connect with the independence service dogs provide.  Although that doesn’t make sense to me if they dropped Independence from the name.  Anyway, to be more inclusive they’re also removing the wheelchair.  Never did I think removing the symbol of a wheelchair makes something more inclusive.  Apparently they want to stress service dogs aren’t only for individuals in wheelchairs.  I get that.  Actually, I like the new logo.  However taking away the wheelchair stings a little.  It’s not everyday wheelchair users are represented.  Deep down I can’t shake the feeling wheelchairs have a negative connotation and they don’t want non-wheelchair users to be alienated by it.  Am I way off base in that feeling?  Curious what do you all think of the rebranding and reasoning behind it?

    lupa-f replied 2 years, 6 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • lupa-f

    May 21, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I see a good and bad reason for it.

    When I was younger and could still walk a little I never really associated myself with wheelchair users. I didn’t even use a wheelchair, I used a scooter. So services like this that seemed geared directly toward wheelchair users I wouldn’t look into because I didn’t think they applied to me even though I might have been able to use the service. I think the rebranding is good in this sense.

    But on the bad side, it feels like there’s this push recently that acknowledging someone is disabled or in a wheelchair is somehow offensive. I’ve watched well meaning people think they’re being “ableist” by just describing someone using a wheelchair. I’m afraid they’re changing the logo in response to that.

    Aside from that, I’m not a fan of the new logo. It took me about a minute to figure out what the drawing was. And then once I figured out what the new one even was, it looks like the dog is facing away from the person, like it doesn’t want to be there, but just looks back for a second. The old one is pretty clear the dog seems happy to be with the person.