In a recent proposal which Apple sent to the Unicode Consortium, the organization which is responsible for setting the global standard for emojis, 13 new emojis representing various disabilities were advocated for.
“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” Apple wrote. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”
The new emojis include a person in a wheelchair, a prosthetic limb, a service dog, a person walking with a cane, and an ear with a hearing aid. According to Apple, the options are designed to include people in four main categories: blind/low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, motor disabilities, and hidden disabilities. They have noted that these 13 emojis are only meant to be a starting point, not a full list of all potential disabilities.
They have consulted with top organizations for disabled people in writing the proposal, like the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, the American Council of the Blind, and the National Association of the Deaf. This is part of a push in recent years to include more diverse emojis, such as different occupations, skin tones, and flags.