Apple Unveils Disability-Themed Emojis to Dial Into Diversity
New emoji will be available fall 2019.
To celebrate World Emoji Day (7/17/19), Apple is previewing a selection of new emoji coming this fall, revealing the newest designs that bring even more diversity to the keyboard, alongside fun and exciting additions to popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.
Following Apple’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year to introduce more disability-themed emoji, a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg will be available in the emoji keyboard. According to a company press release, "celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard."
In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.
Many additional emoji categories are getting exciting updates with a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, new food items including a waffle, falafel, butter and garlic, and new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk.
Fifty-nine new emoji designs will be available this fall with a free software update for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Thousands of emoji are currently available, including emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, more professions, various clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more. New emoji are created based on the approved characters in Unicode 12.0.