Apple proposes 13 new emojis to represent people with disabilities
Apple's diverse new emoji will debut in the developer and public beta previews before becoming available in iOS 11.1, macOS and watchOS software updates.
Apple has outlined a series of emojis “to better represent individuals with disabilities,” according to a proposal submitted to the Unicode Consortium.
People on social media have been cheering for what some called long overdue representation. Emojis with hearing aids and using sign language, wheelchairs and white canes are among the proposed options for iPhones.
The proposal states that emojis “may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” but that diversifying emoji options “helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”
One in seven people around the world has some type of disability, whether visible or not, according to the proposal.
According to the submission, the new emojis focus on four main categories – blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical and motor skills, and hidden disabilities.
- an ear with a hearing aid
- a man and woman walking with a cane
- a guide dog
- a prosthetic arm
- a prosthetic leg
- a man and woman signing they are deaf
- a service dog
- a man and woman in a manual wheelchair and
- a man and woman in a mechanical wheelchair.
The move has been met with a lot of positive response on social media, with some people claiming it is long overdue.
This is wayyyyy overdue but well done Apple ?? https://t.co/bDlnMMjPrO
— Ella Shipley (@ellashipleyx) March 23, 2018
Absolutely brilliant and about time too. On behalf of all of us disabled and less able bodied people, thank you.
— The Tow Family (@Cosky) March 24, 2018
I know some people think this is silly, that an emoji is not gonna help solve problems. True, but increased awareness and inclusion will! Emojis are a form of expression that is very personal. I am reminded of it every time my child picks an emoji and matches her skin tone on it! https://t.co/B79pHMWGWp
— Carolina Milanesi (@caro_milanesi) March 23, 2018
The proposal also included search data from Google for the included disabilities to showcase the relevance and need for the new emoji line.
It wasn’t immediately clear when or if the proposed emojis would be approved.
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