Designed to create an “inclusive experience” for its users, Apple has designed symbols depicting wheelchair-users, and visually impaired people using support canes.
Other planned icons include two different types of guide dog, a prosthetic arm and leg, and an ear with a hearing aid.
The company worked with international organisations such as the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the National Association of the Deaf to develop the designs.
“One in seven people around the world has some form of disability,” said Apple in the submission.
“The current selection of emoji provides a wide array of representations of people, activities, and objects meaningful to the general public, but very few speak to the life experiences of those with disabilities.”
“At Apple, we believe that technology should be accessible to everyone and should provide an experience that serves individual needs. Adding emoji emblematic to users’ life experiences helps foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability,” it added.
The firm believes that these new icons will provide more options to represent people with disabilities, but states that the emojis are not meant as a comprehensive list.
“Every individual’s experience with their disability is unique and, therefore, the representations have unlimited possibilities. It would be impossible to cover every possible use case with a limited set of characters,” Apple explained.
Unicode, whose other members include the likes of Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix, decides what emojis should be used and what they should represent, with members deciding what the design looks like on each of their operating systems.
Apple’s last update, in July 2017, saw the company release 52 new icons, including a zombie, sandwich, elf and a woman wearing a headscarf.
Images courtesy of Apple and Unicode Consortium.This article originally appeared in Dezeen.
Seems like there is lots of discussion about emojis these days. Come to the VMA Design Conference on June 15 in San Francisco for even more!