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Disability World: Emojis

15 February 2019

Emojis depicting disability will be available soon. The 13 new icons, from Apple are a starting point to better represent people with disabilities on the emoji keyboard.

The accessibility emojis include a guide dog, hearing aid, prosthetic limbs and people using canes and wheelchairs, and are among the 230 approved for use last Tuesday by the Unicode Consortium.

Proposing the emojis last March, Apple pointed out that its suggestions were not intended as a comprehensive list of all disabilities. Four main categories are here: blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical motor conditions, and hidden disabilities, which are represented by a dog on a lead wearing a coat.

Although 13 accessibility emojis were proposed, with options for men and women and skin tones are taken into account, there will be 45 new additions in all. Producing the emojis, Apple worked closely with American disability groups.

Adding the new emojis to keyboards is the responsibility of tech giants like Apple, and judging from the positive response to the new emojis from disability groups, they are likely to receive a warm welcome.

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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.