Apple has requested the Unicode Consortium add emoji to better represent individuals with disabilities.
As noted by Emojipedia, Apple developed the new emojis in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf. The collection includes:
- Guide Dog With Harness
- Service Dog With Vest and Leash
- Person With White Cane (Male and Female)
- Ear With Hearing Aid
- Deaf Sign (Male and Female)
- Person in Mechanized Wheelchair (Male and Female)
- Person in Manual Wheelchair (Male and Female)
- Mechanical or Prosthetic Arm and Leg
The human versions are each suggested to come in multiple skin tones, while the canine companions are differentiated based on the differing purposes of guide and service dogs. In total, 45 emoji variations have been proposed.
There is currently only one disability-related emoji offered to users, the wheelchair symbol. This is despite one in seven people living with a disability, Apple said in its proposal.
If Unicode approves Apple’s proposal at its April meeting, the emoji will probably launch in the second half of 2019 alongside Emoji 12.0. Unicode Consortium will launch Emoji 11.0 in the second half of this year with 157 new emojis.