The Unicode Consortium — the nonprofit organisation that sets the global standard for emoji – has now approved the submission by Apple for a new set of emojis which includes a host of options representing people with disabilities.
In it’s submission to the commission last year, Apple wrote, “Apple is requesting the addition of emoji to better represent individuals with disabilities. Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities.”
The emoji were developed with input from American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf.
Also in the submission Apple noted that “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.” There is no timetable yet for emoji update – this is now dependent on development work by different platforms and release dates.
The proposed emojis are as follows (all images (c) Apple Inc.):
Woman and man in manual wheelchairs
Man and woman in mechanised wheelchairs
Deaf sign – male and female
Ear with hearing aid
Woman with a white cane, man with a white cane
Guide dog with lead and vest
Guide dog with harness