Disabled People Will Finally Have Emoji Representation.. In The Fall

Rachel Moss

We’ve already got avocados, fairies and unicorns, yet people with disabilities have not been represented in emoji form – until now.

Apple has announced we’ll soon be able to start using its new inclusive emojis, including wheelchair users, a guide dog, prosthetic limbs and a hearing aid. 

Unicode – the organization that manages the distribution of emojis – announced it had approved new emojis representing a range of disabilities back in February. But to mark World Emoji Day, Apple confirmed the designs will be available on your Apple keypads by autumn 2019. 

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values,” a spokesperson said. “These new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard.”

An estimated 6.2 million Canadians 15 years and older had one or more disabilities that restricted them in their everyday activities, according to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability. 

People on Twitter welcomed the announcement. 

Some people questioned why it has taken so long for Apple to create and release the emojis in the first place. 

The emojis will launch as a part of a large keyboard update by Apple. 

There’s a big change to the “holding hands” emoji, often used to represent couples (👫). Users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone and gender to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.  

Other updates include new food items, such as a waffle, falafel, slab of butter and garlic, as well as new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk. You can find all the new emojis coming later this year here.

With a file from HuffPost Canada.