In a push towards greater diversity, tech giant Apple has unveiled their new disability-themed Emojis.
Apple dubbed it a move designed to “bring even more diversity to the keyboard.”
The new emojis were unveiled to coincide with World Emoji Day and include a guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a visually impaired person, a prosthetic arm, and a prosthetic leg. They will be available for use later this year, CNN reports.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
Earlier this year, we reported that Unicode released new emoji 12.0 data that showed 59 new emojis including disability-inclusive emojis of a deaf person and a person in a wheelchair. Along with some new foods and body fluids like a waffle and a drop of blood.
“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” Apple wrote at the time. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”
According to Apple (AAPL), the company selected new Emojis that are most inclusive of people in four main categories: blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical motor disabilities and hidden disabilities. The iPhone maker added that the new additions to the emoji keyboard are just a starting point and not a comprehensive list of all potential disabilities.
Kristina Barrick, a spokesperson for UK disability equality charity Scope, said the move was a “positive step towards disability being well and truly represented in the world of emoji.”
“We’ve had ghosts, robots, a poo with a face and even 10 empty squares to choose from, so it’s about time emojis started to better represent the 15% of the global population who are disabled,” she added.
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