Guide dogs, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and people using wheelchairs are included
Tech giant Apple has proposed a set of new emoji aimed at providing better representation for people with disabilities.
The 13 emoji include guide dogs, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and people using canes and wheelchairs.
In a statement, the California company said: "Apple is requesting the addition of emoji to better represent individuals with disabilities.
"Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities.
"One in seven people around the world has some form of disability, whether that be a physical disability involving vision, hearing or loss of physical motor skills, or a more hidden, invisible disability."
🆕 📲 New: Apple has submitted a proposal to Unicode for accessibility emojis including people in wheelchairs, service dogs, and prosthetic limbs. If approved, they'll be on phones next year https://t.co/ic87QRkDpj pic.twitter.com/d7NISQR0me— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia) March 23, 2018
Apple said its proposed additions are "not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible depictions of disabilities - it is intended to be a starting point".
While coming up with the new emoji, the tech giant worked with various disability charities including the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the National Association of the Deaf.
If approved by the Unicode Consortium, the emoji are likely to be released early in 2019.
According to Apple's proposal 18 of 31 global sign languages use this gesture to represent the deaf sign. If approved, it would join the existing ASL "I love you" gesture in the Unicode Standard: 🤟 pic.twitter.com/d9dHr6OwVE— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia) March 23, 2018
The plans have received a warm reaction on social media, with Jordan Samuel tweeting: "This is awesome! It's great to see support for the disabled community despite never using emojis it's a great addition."
Charles Matthews wrote: "At last Apple proposing more diverse representation in emojis. I am amazed it has taken so long."