Emoji 12.0: Apple Proposes Wheelchairs, Prosthetic Limbs For 2019 Rollout Of Emojis

Following the successful launch of Animoji, Apple now appears to be focused on introducing a new set of emojis to consumers. The Cupertino giant has recently submitted disability-themed emojis for consideration by the Unicode Consortium, the non-profit organization that coordinates the development of the Unicode standard. 

Emoji blog Emojipedia was the first one to spot and report about Apple’s new emojis. According to the site, Apple submitted the proposed suite of “accessibility emojis” on March 23, Friday. The pack reportedly includes wheelchairs, a hearing aid, prosthetic limbs and a guide dog, among others. 

The suite is composed of 45 proposed emojis and they take into account sexes (male and female) and skin tones. In Apple’s proposal, the company said that it feels the addition of the new emojis will better represent individuals with disabilities. 

The specific names of some of the new emojis are the following: 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 new set of emojis was made by Apple in collaboration with the American Council of the Blind, the National Association of the Deaf and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. The set is not comprehensive, thus, it does not include all possible depictions of disabilities. However, Apple sees this as a “an initial starting point,” so other depictions could be added in the future. 

According to Apple Insider, the proposed characters could get shortlisted at the Unicode Technical Committee meeting in San Jose, California next month. Then, if they pass the final approval, they could roll out with Emoji 12.0, which is scheduled for release in the first half of 2019. 

Meanwhile, the 2018 emoji roster has already been finalized. It is composed of 157 emojis of smiley faces, superheroes, villains, animals, sports equipment, food, and many others. The new suite is expected to debut alongside the new versions of iOS, macOS and watchOS this coming fall. 

Animoji Apple is preparing a new set of emojis following the launch of Animoji. Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su

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