Apple wants to launch a range of disability emoji

The range of disability emoji could include everything from guide dogs to prosthetic limbs.

We all love a good emoji. Not just because they help us express how we’re feeling, often better than our vocab can, but because there seems to be one for pretty much most situations.

But not all. In fact, there’s quite a glaring emoji omission when you think about it, and that’s disability emoji.

Apple, however, is working hard to change that, after proposing a set of new emoji dedicated to representing various disabilities.

What Kind of Emoji Will Be Included?

Emojipedia recently reported that Apple has submitted plans to turn 45 variants of disability focused emoji characters into reality. These would then be made readily available for us to use on our smartphones and other compatible devices (we’ll come to this shortly).

As part of Apple’s submission, it’s thought the new emoji will include the following:

  • A guide dog
  • A man and woman walking with a cane
  • A man and woman signing that they are deaf
  • An ear with a hearing aid
  • A man and woman in both mechanical and manual wheelchairs
  • A service dog (trained to assist with many different types of disabilities, often hidden)
  • A prosthetic arm
  • A prosthetic leg

Rumour has it that variants of each emoji will be made for both men and women, as well as including skin tones.

According to Emojipedia, 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.”

Apple claims that this could just be a starting point, and that we could see lots of of these accessibility emoji in the future. Nice one Apple, we like your thinking.

When Will We Be Able to Use Them?

According to a blog post by Emojipedia, the Unicode Technical Committee could decide on the proposed emoji in April 2018. Meaning, the suite of emoji would be ready to go onto phones as early as 2019.

The Unicode Technical Committee meet and decide on whether to approve new disability emoji for the yearly roll-out. These emoji, if passed, would be added to the Emoji 12.0 release in 2019.

You’ll be happy to hear that the 2018 emoji list is already confirmed and on its way to our devices in the second half of this year.

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