South Africa has an untouched $10M fund for internet accessibility

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A new report has revealed that South Africa has $ 10 million sitting unspent in Universal Service and Access Funds meant to for the provisioning of Internet access in the country. The report, Universal Service and Access Funds: An Untapped Resource to Close the Gender Digital Divide, Furthermore, the report (published by the Web Foundation, the Alliance for Affordable Internet, and UN Women) states that many governments in Afrika are failing to take action to connect women and other offline populations — despite the existence of funds earmarked for this purpose. This at a time when affordability is a major barrier to women being able to access…

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Apple submits new accessibility emoji to Unicode Consortium, includes prosthetic limbs, guide dogs, more

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Apple has today proposed a new set of emoji to the Unicode Consortium that focuses on accessibility. The new set includes at least nine new emoji.

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Apple proposes 13 new accessibility emojis to be included in Emoji 12.0

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Apple has proposed 13-new accessibility emojis to be joined in the upcoming Unicode emoji release. The new list includes guide dog, hearing aid, prosthetic limbs, as well as people using canes and different types of wheelchairs. The new suite also adds emoji for people with disabilities. Apple has submitted its formal request to Unicode, the consortium that governs the standard that includes emojis. The total list includes 13 new emojis are proposed when options for men and women are taken into account, or 45 in total when also including the options for skin tones. The aim behind the move is to diversify the options available to help fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all. The new symbols feature men and women with probing cane, an index finger pointing to the cheek, representing the ‘deaf sign, icons of a hearing aid, person in an electric wheelchair, guide dog with a harness, and a prosthetic arm. The next Unicode Technical Committee meeting will take place in the coming month at Adobe Headquarters in San Jose and if approved, these characters would be shortlisted for Emoji 12.0 which will release in first-half of 2019. While the Emoji 11.0 will roll out in the second-half …
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Apple proposes new set of accessibility emoji for the disabled

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Apple has submitted 13 new accessibility emoji to the Unicode Consortium. These emoji try to cover a range of disabilities to better represent the disabled, something the current set of emoji does not. Illustrated by Emojipedia based on Apple’s current designs Among the list of additions are things like Guide Dog with Harness, Person with White Cane, Ear with Hearing Aid, Deaf Sign, Person in Mechanized Wheelchair, Person in Manual Wheelchair, Mechanical or Prosthetic Arm and Leg, and Service Dog with Vest and Leash. The emoji with people in them will be available in male and…

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Apple Submits New Accessibility Emojis to Unicode Consortium

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Apple today submitted a new proposal [PDF] to the Unicode Consortium, suggesting the committee introduce a series of accessibility emojis in future Unicode releases.

As outlined by Emojipedia, Apple has suggested emojis that include a guide dog, a hearing aid, a prosthetic arm and leg, sign language, a person in a wheelchair, and a person with a cane. Apple’s full list of proposed emojis can be seen in its proposal document.

Image via Emojipedia

In its proposal, Apple says it is aiming to better represent individuals with disabilities to provide a more inclusive experience for all. Apple also says this is not an exhaustive list of “all possible depictions of disabilities,” but is rather designed to be “an initial starting point.”

At Apple, we believe that technology should be accessible to everyone and should provide an experience that serves individual needs. Adding emoji emblematic to users’ life experiences helps foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability. Emoji are a universal language and a powerful tool for communication, as well as a form of self-expression, and can be used not only to represent one’s own personal experience, but also to show support for a loved one.

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.

To create the emoji suggestions, Apple teamed up with the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf. Its initial proposal focused on people in four categories: Blind and Low Vision, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Physical Motor, and Hidden Disabilities.

Apple says its proposal is a “significant step forward in representing more diverse individuals,” and that the company hopes it will “spark a global dialogue around better representation for people with disabilities.”

Apple is well-known for its dedicated work on making its products accessible to all users, with a suite of Accessibility features built into all of its iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more. Apple maintains a dedicated Accessibility section on its website where it shares details on available Accessibility features and stories of people who have improved their lives with Apple products.

The Unicode Consortium has already finalized the Emoji 11.0 characters that will be adopted by smartphone companies later this year, but Apple’s proposed characters could be added to Emoji 12.0, set to be released in 2019.

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Apple proposes new accessibility emojis, including prosthetic limbs and people with wheelchairs

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Apple accessibility emojis proposed Unicode

Last month, we saw more than 100 new emojis that will come with Unicode 11.0. Now Apple has proposed even more new emojis for Unicode.

Apple has submitted a proposal for several new accessibility emojis. These include an ear with a hearing aid, guide and service dogs, people in wheelchairs, a deaf sign, and mechanical or prosthetic limbs. Apple says that it developed these emojis with organizations like the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf.

These emojis must be approved by the Unicode Committee before they can become characters that you can use on your phone. If they’re approved, they may be included in Emoji 12.0 in the first half of 2019.

We’ve seen emoji become more inclusive in recent years, adding more male and female variants of professions as well as adding skin tone options. While these new accessibility emojis haven’t yet been approved, it’s good to see more representation in emojis in the works, and hopefully these new characters will eventually make their way into an official emoji release.

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Apple Proposes New Collection Of Accessibility Emoji, Including Prosthetic Limb, Wheelchair, More

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Apple and emoji often come hand in hand, and the company has today proposed a few new emoji to the Unicode Consortium, with each and every one of them based on the world of accessibility.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Apple gives us a sneak peak at new accessibility emoji, including this incredibly cute guide dog

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New iPhone Emoji

Apple has proposed a set of new emoji to the official world arbiters of tiny pictures, the Unicode Consortium. The new emoji are focused on accessibility, and include things like a guide dog, people in wheelchairs, and prosthetic limbs.

In its proposal to the Unicode Consortium, spotted by Emojipedia, Apple says that it “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.”

There are 45 new emoji when considering all possible skin tones and genders in the proposal. There are two different guide dogs, including one with a vest and one with a harness for a seeing-eye dog (pictured above). There are men and women in both manual and powered wheelchairs, men and women with canes, an ear with a hearing aid, the universal deaf sign, and prosthetic arms and legs.

Apple said that the proposals were developed in collaboration with “internationally respected community organizations” such as American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf. However, it also went to pains to point out that the proposal 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.”

The full set of images of new emoji are available over at Emojipedia. The Unicode Consortium will have to accept any new emoji proposals before including them in the next round of releases, and software makers will have to create imagery before releasing to the public. On that timeline, we might see the new accessibility emoji sometime next year.

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Apple wants to bring these accessibility emojis to iOS

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Apple has proposed a bunch of new accessibility emojis that it wants to bring to iOS. There are nine altogether — some of which are available in different genders and skin tones — including guide dogs, a heading aid, prosthetic limbs, and more. One in seven people suffer from some form of disability, Apple states […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Apple proposes new accessibility emoji to include guide dogs and prosthetic limbs

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Apple today submitted an official proposal to the Unicode Consortium, requesting a greater variety of emoji representing those with disabilities. The company says it wants to fill a gap that exists in the language of emoji. The emoji include an ear with a hearing aid, a person making the ASL sign for “deaf,” a person walking with a cane, people in two different wheelchairs, and two kinds of prosthetic limb. It also includes both a guide dog in a harness, and a service dog in a vest, with Apple pointing out the different purposes of each animal and why they…

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