We began to review our name in 2015, with help from supporters, partners, disability rights leaders, and thousands of Americans. The results showed that “Handicap International” was failing to express both our values and our broad scope of work. What’s more, a good percentage of English speakers told us the word “handicap” was old fashioned at best and derogatory at worst. A smaller percentage was confused: did we work on golfing or horse racing?
We launched a global working group and enlisted the help of Canadian agency Cossette, who impressed us with immense creativity and the ability to take a deep dive into what sets HI apart from other international, non-governmental organizations. The result, I am proud to share with you on behalf of the U.S. Board of Directors and staff, is “Humanity & Inclusion.”
These words ring true through all of our projects as an expression of our shared value for humanity, with the respect, kindness, and humility that guide our work. We value difference, and the name upholds our core principles of diversity, fairness, and the right to live independently. Inclusion is a governing principle, and we’re known as experts in the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Cossette also sketched and perfected the “hand:” our new, graphic symbol. The early responses are incredibly promising. Beneficiaries in Iraq and Laos, in particular, were excited when they saw it, and it made them smile. They told us everyone understands what a hand represents, especially as a greeting or sign of support. Our blue logo is also darker, yielding our strongest-ever visual accessibility rating.
I am confident that Humanity & Inclusion will serve our unique organization well, as a banner for progress, integrity, innovation, and impact. We’ll reach more people worldwide by encouraging those who live in peaceful communities to stand in solidarity with those who do not. I welcome your thoughts on this new way forward. Please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected].