Apple to Release Emojis that Represent People with Disabilities

Emojis are super popular: people use them when they’re texting someone, posting on social media, or to express themselves. Emojis are symbols that are colorful, funny and cute, and, most importantly, have started to become more inclusive in recent years. There are emojis that show different skin tones, genders, family structures, occupations that include both female and male characters, and many other changes that have been positive so far. But, what is missing in these emojis is disabilities. There are many people in the world that live with disabilities of varying degrees. People with disabilities deserve to have representation in the social media and digital worlds, which includes emojis.

Last March, Apple submitted a proposal of new emojis to the Unicode Consortium that included 13 different emojis that represent disabilities. The Unicode Consortium is the organization that maintains the standards for symbols that are used in everyday life, including emojis. Recently, the Unicode Consortium has approved many new emojis including the 13 emojis that Apple proposed. This is a victory for people with disabilities, as they can finally use an emoji that represents them.

The 13 emojis that will be released have representation for deaf people, blind people, wheelchair users, and prosthetic users. For deaf people, Apple has proposed to include a hearing aid emoji and a person signing the word “Deaf”. They also made sure to include the different skin tones and genders, which are important factors for representation.

There are other emojis that have been included in the proposal including a man/woman with a cane, man/woman in a wheelchair, service dogs, and prosthetic limbs.

Emojis are important in our lives. It’s amazing how small symbols can actually convey a message or a few words that are important to us. These emojis for people with disabilities segway into more inclusivity for them and are a step in the direction of better representation in the world of technology. These emojis will be released with a new update sometime this spring. This is just the beginning, but Apple has created emojis that can be appreciated by people with disabilities.

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