World Emoji Day: Apple Unveils Their New Diversity and Disability-Themed Emojis
In a bid to "bring even more diversity to the keyboard," Apple's upcoming disability-themed emojis will be added to our technological devices, as the tech giant aptly unveiled on World Emoji Day.
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These emojis will include a guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and will be available by the end of the year.
An Apple spokesperson said, "Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple's values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard."
The proposal for these new emojis was sent in March 2018 to the Unicode Consortium, which is the nonprofit organization that sets the global standard for emojis.
At the time, Apple said, "Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities."
"Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all."
The focus of these disability-themed emojis centered around four main categories: blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical motor disabilities and hidden disabilities.
59 new emojis to be released in the fall
A spokesperson, Kristina Barrick, for the British disability equality charity, Scope, said this was a "positive step towards disability being well and truly represented in the world of emoji."
Today Apple launch new emojis. The designs are to better represent disabled people & include a wheelchair user, a hearing aid and a deaf person signing. Apple point out the new emojis are a 'starting point' to represent disability #apple #emojis #accesibility #alifeofopportunity pic.twitter.com/XSGUIMKnMb— CamphillVillageTrust (@CamphillVillag1) July 17, 2019
Given 15 percent of the world's population are disabled, it seems about time they be represented among the hundreds of already-existing emojis.
These won't be the only emojis to be released later this year, as there will be 59 new ones added to keyboards as well. Amongst them is a mixture of food-related emojis (garlic, waffle), animals (sloth, flamingo), and activities (kite flying, parachuting), amongst others.