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Tech Talk: New emojis representing the disabled to be released soon

Some new emojis including a wheelchair user, people with walking sticks and a hearing aid have been revealed.


Apple and Android have provided a look at a selection of the new designs today (17.07.19) coinciding with World Emoji Day, ahead of a full release later this year.

According to BBC, the 20 upcoming designs are meant to better represent disabled people. An Apple spokesman said: “Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values. These new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard.”

The new designs, which were first proposed last year, also include skin tone variations for the “holding hand” emoji, as well as animals like a flamingo and food including waffle and butter icons.

Proposals for the new emojis were accepted by the Unicode Consortium, who are in charge of approving new emoji characters.

When they were first announced Apple said it wanted to commission the new emojis to “speak to the life experiences of those with disabilities”.

The tech giant has been keen to point out the new emojis do not represent all forms of disability, but should be seen as a starting point for better representation and diversity within the emoji world.

Other emojis include, A man and woman signing that they are deaf, a service dog (a trained dog that helps those with hidden disabilities), prosthetic arm, prosthetic leg, skin tone variations for ‘holding hands’ emoji, yawning face, animals like flamingoes, foods like butter, ice cube, objects like parachute, yo-yo, kite and clothing like safety vest and swimsuit.

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