Apple has proposed a new set of emoji that will represent individuals with disabilities.
Emojis have quickly taken over the digital world. They are in every text, every social media platform and even made into home décor, such as throw pillows and wall hangings. As of June 2017, there over 2,600 emoji characters. Emoji has a wide range of representation, from a flag to represent every country, different skin tones to represent different races and even different representations of families, such as a single parent and same sex parent households. However, there has always been one major representation missing, and that is the community of individuals with disabilities.
Recently, Apple has proposed an idea of a wide range of new emoji that will represent individuals with disabilities. These include a guide dog and persons with white cane for the visually impaired, persons signing the word “deaf” and an ear with a hearing aid for the hearing impaired, persons in a mechanical and manual wheelchair for wheelchair users, a prosthetic arm and leg for amputees and a service dog. This long overdue release of new emoji will be a great way to represent the disabled community, which has over one billion people worldwide.
Social media has already had a great reaction to the news of the proposal, with people worldwide tweeting how this is long overdue. One user, @_Hatty_, tweeted “YES! YES! YES! I need a better wheelchair emoji!”
Unfortunately, these will not be released this year because the 2018 emoji list has already been finalized and is expected to be released later this year. If this proposal is approved next month at the Unicode Technical Committee meeting, these new characters will potentially be included in Emoji 12.0, which will be released in early 2019.