Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities. Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.
Suggested emoji include guide dog with harness, person with white cane, deaf sign, ear with hearing aid, person in mechanized wheelchair, person in manual wheelchair, mechanical arm /
prosthetic arm, mechanical leg / prosthetic leg, and service dog with vest and leash.
Other possibilities were considered as well:
• A touch tablet or PECS board, however that was considered difficult to read at emoji scale. Also, emoji themselves can be used for this purpose already.
• A walking cane, however the design did not feel distinctive enough from “person with probing cane” at emoji scale.
• Different colored ribbons, however today there is no consistency in color representation of the reminder ribbon emoji, and some ribbon colors are so strongly associated with causes that they
may be considered as logos (and thus are not encodable).
• Braille, however Braille is encoded in Unicode already as set of characters and would pose challenges to represent abstractly in a way that could be internationally understood.
• Eye within a magnifying glass, however it was felt that there were already existing eye and
magnifying glass characters that could be used together.
Apple says, "This new set of emoji that we are proposing aims to provide a wider array of options to represent basic categories for people with disabilities. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible depictions of disabilities, but to provide an initial starting point for greater representation for diversity within the emoji universe."
Take a look below or click here to read Apple's full proposal.