Emoji representing people with disabilities approved for 2019

Apple proposed about a dozen new emoji representing people with disabilities that have been approved to appear on devices later this year.

The new emoji portray a prosthetic arm and leg, a person using a wheelchair, a deaf person and a person using a white cane, among others.

In a letter last March to the Unicode Consortium, the global organization that develops standards for the widely-used icons, Apple called for the addition of the new emoji to help “foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability.” Unicode announced the new emoji on Tuesday.

“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” Apple wrote in March. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”


Apple worked with disability rights organizations including the American Council of the Blind and the National Association of the Deaf to develop the emoji, according to USA Today.

Emoji representing guide dogs, manual and motorized wheelchairs and an ear with a hearing aid are also among the new icons.

The new emoji are part of a group of 230 variations of new icons approved for 2019 by the Unicode Consortium, a group that also includes emoji for interracial couples, a juice box, a Hindu temple and a drop of blood, meant to represent menstruation. 

The dating app Tinder advocated for the development of interracial couple emoji, saying they “believe that no one should ever feel unrepresented or unseen.”