Philia - a dialogue on citizenship
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About the Icons
About Philia > About Our Website > About the Icons

Throughout this website you will notice an icon that looks like this. This is a picture of a stramp - a unique architectural design combining stairs and ramps. The stramp was developed by architect Arthur Erickson to enable people who use wheelchairs to move comfortably in areas where there are stairs. We use the stramp icon to identify analysis and commentary that explores large social issues and experiences through the lens of disability.

We chose the stramp because it's a powerful symbol for what happens when we welcome the contributions of all citizens. Designed to improve access for people who use wheelchairs, stramps have become a place for everyone. Skateboarders and rollerbladers use them. So do parents pushing babies in strollers, cyclists and folks who prefer to stroll rather than climb. All use stramps alongside people in wheelchairs and scooters.

By combining both stairs and ramps, the stramp is more effective than either part could be separately. By easing access for some, it creates a meeting place for all. Just so with the Philia Dialogue. By combining the wisdom of the disability community with the wisdom of others, we create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and a more welcoming society for all. The message of Philia and the stramp is that together we are better.

This icon tells you that you're about to read a story. As you browse through this website you'll find a lot of stories. That's because stories are one of the most effective ways we know of communicating ideas and feelings, teaching, and sharing information, knowledge and wisdom.

In fact, stories are the most basic form of human communication, and the most common way we express ourselves in community. Throughout human history, stories have conveyed people's dreams and their sorrows, their beliefs and their values, their successes and their challenges. Stories breathe life into our ideas, form the basis of our relationships, and enrich both our lives and our work. Long after ideas have been shared and forgotten, stories remain in our memories. This is because they touch a part of us that is universal. Stories resonate with what we know from our own lived experiences.

Since Philia's roots are in the disability community, most of our stories come out of that experience. We share them with you in the hope that they both illuminate that particular experience and speak to universal experiences, values and aspirations. We hope they inspire you as they do us, and encourage you to share your own stories in return, whatever your experience! See "Contribute to the Dialogue" to learn how to do this.

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