“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,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” Apple wrote at the time. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”
The iPhone maker said it had consulted with top organizations for people with disabilities when submitting the proposal.
Apple noted that the new additions to the emoji keyboard are designed to be a starting point, not a comprehensive list of all potential disabilities.
Kristina Barrick, a spokesperson for UK disability equality charity Scope, said the move was a “positive step towards disability being well and truly represented in the world of emoji.”
“We’ve had ghosts, robots, a poo with a face and even 10 empty squares to choose from, so it’s about time emojis started to better represent the 15% of the global population who are disabled,” she added.
The emojis are being released as part of a package of 59 new emojis that will arrive in the fall.
Other new emojis include animals (a sloth, flamingo, skunk and orangutan), foods (waffle, falafel, butter and garlic) and gender-neutral characters, along with more professions and clothing types.
Kaya Yurieff contributed to this report.
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