Apple Wants to Launch 13 New Emojis for People with Disabilities

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Apple is thought to be working on a string of new emojis for disabled people, according to a report from the BBC. The firm is allegedly preparing to launch new emojis representing people with disabilities, including a guide dog, a person in a wheelchair and a prosthetic limb. At the moment, Apple said there is […]
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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 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 13 emojis representing those with disabilities

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Apple has proposed a set of new emojis representing those with vision, hearing and motor disabilities, BuzzFeed News reports. Included are emojis of guide and service dogs, people with canes, individuals signing the word "deaf," an ear with a hearing…
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Apple proposes 13 new emojis representing users with disabilities

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At some point over the past five years, emojis evolved from a niche into an important form of communication — a point that hasn’t been lost on Apple. Having previously suggested new professions and diversity icons, the company today pitched the Unicode Consortium on a collection of 13 new emojis “to better represent individuals wi…Read More
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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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Mickey and Minnie Mouse AR Emojis launch for the Galaxy S9 and S9+

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AR Emojis are one of the features Samsung was pushing at the launch event for the Galaxy S9 and S9+, because it simply had to respond to Apple’s Animoji somehow. And now you get some new characters to play with if you enjoy AR Emoji-ing yourself. Mickey and Minnie Mouse are available, and right on time as today is the official release day for the S9 duo. Samsung says Disney characters are coming to life in an augmented reality setting for the first time ever. You can download Mickey and Minnie from the AR Emoji mode inside Samsung’s Camera app. But wait, there’s more! Other…

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SwiftKey toolbar gives speedy access to GIFs, emojis, and more

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SwiftKey, one of the most popular third-party keyboards on iOS, has just gotten even faster and more efficient — thanks to an update which adds a new Toolbar for giving you super-speedy access to the keyboard’s most popular features. For those unfamiliar with it, SwiftKey Keyboard is a third-party iOS keyboard you can use on […]

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

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Samsung’s Galaxy S9 gets Disney AR Emojis at launch

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I wasn’t alone in suggesting that Samsung’s Animoji competitors were, well, creepy. AR Emojis sit firmly in the uncanny valley between face scans and cartoon characters — generally lacking the adorableness of Apple’s offering. They have, however, had one saving grace: Disney, the entertainment company that essentially owns all of your best childhood memories. 

Samsung teased the partnership this month at Mobile World Congress, during the big Galaxy S9 launch, but didn’t offer much in the way of specifics. There is, however, some good news on the front. Disney’s AR Emojis will be available at launch for the S9 and S9+ — which, as it so happens, is today.

Right now, only Mickey and Minnie are available, accessible to phone buyers as a free download.  More character offerings from such blockbuster films as The Incredibles, Zootopia and Frozen will be made available before the end of the year.

The decision to go with Samsung is no doubt a sore spot for Apple, which has had a tight partnership with Disney for decades, including numerous product crossovers and shared board members. But the entertainment giant is no doubt looking to spread the love. The company also recently licensed Star Wars characters for some very Porg-y Pixel 2 AR stickers.

“By extending our characters and stories to new digital platforms,” Disney VP John Love said in a release tied to the announcement, “we are creating daily Disney experiences everywhere our audience goes, and we are able to draw in new generations of fans.”

The S9 hits the market today, priced starting at $ 720.

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