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Apple Advocates for New Emojis for the Disabled and Impaired

Bangkok, Thailand - FEBRUARY 13, 2017: Hands Holding a Smartphone While Texting - Image

The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization in charge of standardizing emojis, recently received a proposal from Apple asking for 13 additional emojis that include the disabled demographic.

“One in seven people around the world has some form of disability, whether that be a physical
disability involving vision, hearing, or loss of physical motor skills, or a more hidden, invisible
disability,” the proposal writes. “The current selection of emoji provides a wide array of representations of people,
activities, and objects meaningful to the general public, but very few speak to the life experiences
of those with disabilities.”

Apple hopes that by submitting and having the proposal approved, it would help fill a “significant” gap and provide a communicative experience that is inclusive for all.

A few new emojis the proposal has in mind include a guide dog, a person with a walking cane, a hearing aid, a disabled person in a wheelchair, and a person using sign language. It also includes emojis for a prosthetic leg and arm.

Not everything stated in the proposal is final, but the company’s hope is it can spread future considerations for other overlooked emoji possibilities.

If we’ve already pushed for diversity in the emoji community to include a variety of skin tones, occupations, and national flags, what else can’t we add?

Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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