Tech giants Apple have submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, the organisation which accepts proposals for new emojis, to include 13 emojis to represent disability.
Submitted “to better represent individuals with disabilities,” Apple acknowledges that emojis are an important aspect of modern conversation, and they hope that by including these new emojis, people will be better able to express themselves as individuals and as loved ones of disabled people.
🆕 📲 New: Apple has submitted a proposal to Unicode for accessibility emojis including people in wheelchairs, service dogs, and prosthetic limbs. If approved, they'll be on phones next year https://t.co/ic87QRkDpj pic.twitter.com/d7NISQR0me
— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia) March 23, 2018
The proposed emojis are:
- A guide dog and a service dog
- A person walking with a white cane
- A person signing in ASL that they are deaf
- An ear with a hearing aid
- A person in a mechanical and manual wheelchair
- A prosthetic arm/leg
As with all other emojis, if approved, they will be available in a variety of skin and hair colours. Apple are aware that they the list is not comprehensive, however they feel it is a good first step for the inclusion of disabled people in emojis. In the proposal, they said: “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.”
Not only that, but it will ensure that Twitter’s Queen of Emojis, Cher, is better able to represent disabled people in her incredible tweets, which is just one of the many bonuses these emojis would bring.