Disability-themed emojis coming to smartphones this year

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
Disability-themed emojis coming to smartphones this year
Copyright  Emojipedia

Disability-themed emojis will be the biggest addition to this year’s new batch of approved emojis.

The new accessibility emojis were introduced after Apple proposed adding emojis of a guide dog, a hearing aid, prosthetic limbs and people using canes and in wheelchairs back in 2018.

Apple had criticised the lack of representation of people with disabilities.

The proposal was validated by the Unicode consortium, which distributes emojis across mobile devices.

A total of 59 new emojis were approved in the recent update to the official list found on emojipedia.

Among the new creations are men and women of different ethnicities in wheelchairs, using white canes, and wearing hearing aids.

An emoji of a man or woman weaving a finger by one of their ears is meant to signal that they're deaf.

Period emoji also introduced

A new period emoji represented by a drop of blood is meant to help women talk about menstruation. The idea was first introduced by Plan International UK, a girl's right charity that held a survey on what a period emoji should look like.

"The inclusion of an emoji ... is a huge step towards normalising periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them," said Lucy Russell, head of girls' rights at Plan International UK, which lobbied for a period emoji in the past.

Other non-disability emojis being premiered include a sloth, an otter, a flamingo, onions, garlic, and waffles.

The new emojis should be available on smartphones in March.