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Apple proposes 13 new emoji representing users with disabilities

Apple Inc. wants new emoji to better represent those with disabilities, according to a recent proposal submitted to the Unicode Consortium.

“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” the proposal says. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”

The new emoji, which were developed in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the National Association of the Deaf, include a guide dog, prosthetic limbs, a hearing aid and people using canes or wheelchairs (both manual and mechanized).

Apple is also proposing characters using sign languages, specifically gesturing “I love you.”

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The company laid out a total 13 new emojis proposed options for men and women, or 45 when also including skin tone options.

According to Emojipedia, the 2018 emoji list was finalized in February and is expected to come to iOS, Android and other major platforms in the second half of the year. If these new emoji are approved, they would be put on a shortlist of candidates for Emoji 12.0, which is expected to release during the first half of 2019.

While some wondered what took so long, many social media users lauded Apple for proposing a more inclusive line of emoji.

Read Apple’s original proposal document at unicode.org.

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