People with disabilities represented in new emojis

by Samuel Abasi Posted on February 12th, 2019

A person with a white cane, an individual sitting in a motorized wheelchair, a prosthetic arm, someone signing the word “deaf.”

These are among the 13 variants of emoji to represent people with disabilities that were proposed last March by Apple to the global organization that adopts standards for emoji. And now that organization, the Unicode Consortium, has added these accessibility themed characters to the list of forthcoming emoji.

Around 1 in 7 people globally has some form of disability, including visual, hearing and motor impairments.

In its proposal in March, Apple said that “adding emoji emblematic to users’ life experiences helps foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability. Emoji are a universal language and a powerful tool for communication, as well as a form of self-expression, and can be used not only to represent one’s own personal experience, but also to show support for a loved one.”

To come up with the proposed emoji, Apple collaborated with such organizations as American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the National Association of the Deaf.

In all, 230 new emoji were approved for 2019 by the Unicode Consortium.

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