• Michelle Hebert

Apple proposes new emojis for individuals with disabilities

Apple recently sent a proposal to Unicode Consortium, “the nonprofit organization that sets the global standard for emojis,” asking for new emojis that include people with disabilities, CNN reports. In total, Apple is pushing for 13 new emojis to be created.

According to CNN, in the proposal Apple writes, "’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.’"

BBC News reported a list of the emojis proposed: the list includes 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 (a trained dog that helps those with hidden disabilities), a prosthetic arm, and a prosthetic leg.

Apple stated, "’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,’" according to BBC News.

The meeting where the proposal will be discussed, the Unicode Technical Committee meeting, is planned to occur next month, the Verge reported. At the meeting, if the emojis are approved, they will be put on a list of candidates for the Emoji 12.0 update. The update is expected to be released during the first half of 2019.

A list comes out every year with all of the emojis that will be released that year. No more emojis can be added to the 2018 list, so if the emojis are approved, they will be on the 2019 list.

In Apple’s proposal, the company claims one in seven people have some type of disability, CNN reported.