Apple to Introduce Disability-Themed Emojis in the Fall

By Stephanie Kocer

On World Emoji Day this week, Apple announced their plan to add “more diversity to the keyboard” as they roll out new “disability-themed” emojis this fall.

iPhone users will be able to send emojis like a guide dog, hearing aid, a person in a wheelchair, a prosthetic arm or leg, and many more. Apple explained that celebrating diversity in all its forms is an important part of their values as a company, and these new options will help fill a significant gap that has been missing in the emoji keyboard.

The company submitted a proposal to add the inclusive emojis in March 2018 to Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization that provides basic standards for emojis.

Apple wanted to include a large number of people in four main categories: blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical motor abilities, and hidden disabilities, according to the proposal. The company also said it consulted with top organizations for people with disabilities upon submitting the proposal.
“This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible depictions of disabilities, but to provide an initial starting point for greater representation for diversity within the emoji universe,” Apple wrote in the proposal.

The announcement has been met with praise from many in the disability community.Learn more about these exciting new emojis! 

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