These days, emojis are more than just a bunch of symbols and icons that we use to add some flair to our texts. Often, they have become the texts themselves.
And the more that we use them to communicate, the more that we expect them to reflect what our lives are like. Our emotions, our interests, our favourite foods. Our culture. Every year, Unicode (the company responsible for making emojis) gets a little closer to meeting those needs by adding new symbols.
This year, they're making some really important additions. Emojis that finally highlight disabilities!
From wheelchairs to hearing aids, probing canes to prosthetic limbs, deaf signing to service dogs, these new emojis are a pretty exciting group. It is the first time that the experiences of the blind and deaf are available this way. And it is also the first time that many people with mobility disabilities will see their daily lives reflected in emojis.
This collection fulfills a proposal made by Apple last summer to introduce emojis that represented those with disabilities. What a terrific idea!
Friends and flamingos, going for waffles
Of course, these new emojis for the disabled only represent part of the 230 new additions to the 2019 crop. Also included are sloths, otters, and flamingos. There are plenty of options for people holding hands. There's a ringed planet (hey Saturn, they didn't forget you this year!), ballet slippers and a sari, circles, squares, and a bandage.
And last but not least: food! Who knew that we'd made it this far without onions, garlic, or butter? And speaking of butter, that pat of it looks mighty tasty on that waffle!
Expect this new pack to arrive on mobile devices via updates over the next few weeks.