Another emoji update for smartphone users! This time it will include prosthetic legs, service dogs (in harness), and wheelchair users (both motorized and non-motorized). These are one of the 59 new symbols that will be included in the emoji list on the latter part of the year.
This latest batch will also include yawning face emoji, a kneeling person, animals such as sloth, otter, skunk, flamingo, food (garlic, waffle, falafel), a Hindu temple, ballet shoes and others. It will also include a symbol for menstruation, as proposed by a girls’ rights charity, Plan International.
These are just samples, according to the Unicode Consortium. Mobile phone, computer and web platform vendors may or may not use them all.
Apple suggested the mobility emojis last year. They asked for additional emojis that represent individuals with disabilities better. Today, emojis provide a wide range of option, but not all may be represented by it.
Fourteen percent of people around the world have some form of handicap: physical i.e., vision, hearing, or even hidden disability. Apple believes that technology must be accessible to everybody. Thus must provide experience that is suitable for everyone, including people with disability.
Apple added that emojis are symbolic of user’s life and experiences that includes disability. They are a global language and a useful tool in communication. They are also used as form of expression, personal experience or to support a loved one.
These new emojis will be officially launched this March. It is developed with the help of organizations like National Association of the Deaf, American Council of the Blind, and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.