Despite the myriad of currently available emojis, you may have noticed the dearth of icons which depict people with disabilities — which is shocking, considering roughly 20% of the population has some kind of disability.
Fortunately, Apple has recently proposed 13 new inclusive emojis to “better represent individuals with disabilities.” In a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, Apple detailed the potential new emojis, which the company created with assistance from the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf.
“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” the proposal notes. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”
The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee has approved the proposed ideas, and the emojis will now go to the Unicode Technical Committee for review on April 3-5.
If the emojis are approved, Apple is careful to say that the new additions should not be considered an all-encompassing solution to inclusivity in the emoji world. “This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible depictions of disabilities, but to provide an initial starting point for greater representation for diversity within the emoji universe.”
Here are the proposed emojis:
Guide dog with a leash and vest.
A man and a woman signing for “deaf.”
A mechanical prosthetic leg.