Image credit: Emojipedia
Apple is taking the push for diversity and inclusivity to its emojis, introducing 60 new characters that focus on identities that are marginalized.
As reported by CNN, the 60 new characters include ones with prosthetic limbs, characters that are in wheelchairs, a seeing-eye dog, characters that are gender-neutral, as well as interracial characters. A yawning smiley face, a sloth butter, and a waffle are also some of the new additions. All these emojis are part of the iOS 13.2 software update. If you want to take a look a the new emoji but don’t use an iPhone, the website Emojipedia has images of all the new emojis added.
This move for diversity is something that Apple had pushed for since last year. In March of 2018, the company sent a proposal to the Unicode Consortium asking for more disability-inclusive emoji. The Unicode Consortium is a nonprofit organization that determines the global standard for emojis.
In a statement released at the time, Apple said “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.”
Apple teased the inclusion of these diverse emojis back in July, during World Emoji Day. The disability-themed emojis, in particular, got a lot of praise and attention. The improved emoji diversity was praised by Muscular Dystrophy UK, who tweeted: “On #WorldEmojiDay, we’re glad to see @Apple diversify its emoji range to better represent #disability and include both mechanical and manual wheelchair users.” Hereward College, which caters to students with disabilities, also celebrated the new emojis, tweeting: “Fantastic to see some new emojis coming out that celebrate diversity. With a @guidedogs emoji, a wheelchair user and people with walking sticks. Great move on #WorldEmojiDay!”