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Disability Emojis Launched

Posted on 25/10/2019

For the first time since the rise of emojis, the new update features a selection of characters with disabilities. The new symbols include a wheelchair user, people walking with sticks, hearing aids and guide dogs. Both Apple and Android have approved the use of these emojis which, as a communication disorder charity, we think is a great step forward, both in representation and helping people like our members to communicate effectively.

The new additions to the emoji keyboard on smart devices are a great way to boost the visibility of disabilities and allows more people with the disorders depicted, to see themselves in the media. By identifying with the different traits portrayed in everyday pop culture, people with disabilities can integrate into society more and become more visible to others. Although emojis may seem trivial to some, they are a huge part of society and so these additional characters can do much for attitudes towards disability and further integration of people with them into society, besides celebrating diversity.

Our communication disorder charity believes that these new additions will also help people with disabilities communicate their needs more easily. By selecting that they are deaf, for example, users can alert new contacts to their condition, so that they can make the appropriate changes when addressing them and as a result will be able to communicate more effectively.

These new additions will be available on all major devices in the early autumn and if users want to access them, they will need to install the update on their phone or tablet. The full list of emojis representing disabilities are:

  • A man and a woman walking with a cane
  • A man and a woman signing that they are deaf
  • An ear with a hearing aid
  • A man and a woman in both a mechanical and manual wheelchair
  • A service dog
  • A prosthetic arm
  • A prosthetic leg

For more information about technological advancement, visit our communication disorder charity’s blog.