Disability emojis: Guide dog and wheelchair user made available

Apple has announced some new emojis – including a wheelchair user, people with walking sticks and a hearing aid.

They’ve been released on World Emoji Day as part of a move by the tech company to better represent disabled people.

New designs were proposed last year and will be released for Apple users later this year.

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.”

Also included in the new designs are skin tone variations for the “holding hand” emoji, as well as animals like a flamingo and food including waffle and falafel icons.

They make up around 20 icons being announced now, with more being announced in the autumn.

Apple has had proposals for the new emojis accepted by the Unicode Consortium, who are in charge of approving new emoji characters.

At the time the tech giant said it wanted to commission the new emojis to “speak to the life experiences of those with disabilities”.

Apple 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.

New Apple emojis
Image captionSome of the new Apple emojis include animals and food

The new emojis ahead of the full list in autumn:

  • A guide dog
  • A man and woman walking with a cane
  • A man and woman signing that they are deaf
  • An ear with a hearing aid
  • A man and woman in both mechanical and manual wheelchairs
  • A service dog (a trained dog that helps those with hidden disabilities)
  • A prosthetic arm
  • A prosthetic leg
  • Skin tone variations for ‘holding hands’ emoji
  • Yawning face
  • Animals: Sloth, skunk, flamingo
  • Food: Garlic, waffle, falafel, butter, ice cube
  • Objects: Parachute, yo-yo, kite
  • Clothing: Safety vest, swimsuit