World Emoji Day: Apple Unveils Their New Diversity and Disability-Themed Emojis

Apple just unveiled their disability emojis, which includes guide dog and wheelchair user, in a concerted effort towards diversity.

World Emoji Day: Apple Unveils Their New Diversity and Disability-Themed Emojis
New Emojis, for a more inclusive experience Apple Newsroom

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. 

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"Celebrating diversity"

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."

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World Emoji Day: Apple Unveils Their New Diversity and Disability-Themed Emojis
Apple celebrates diversity in all its many forms with new emoji. Source: Apple

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.

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World Emoji Day: Apple Unveils Their New Diversity and Disability-Themed Emojis
 Powerful updates to emoji encourage more inclusion and diversity. Source: Apple

At the time, Apple said, "Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities."

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"Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all." 

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World Emoji Day: Apple Unveils Their New Diversity and Disability-Themed Emojis
Apple celebrates diversity in all its many forms with new emoji. Source: Apple

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. 

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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." 

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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. 

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