The humble emoji, originally a set of symbols designed to add visual flair to text-based messages, has become a way for individuals to express their identity. And with the latest crop of tiny icons, smartphones around the globe are about to become a whole lot more inclusive.
These emojis were suggested by Apple to represent people with disabilities.
“One in seven people around the globe has some form of disability,” Apple wrote in its proposal. “Adding emoji emblematic to users’ life experiences helps nurture a diverse culture that’s inclusive of handicap.” Apple said it developed the projected emojis in cooperation with the American Council of the Blind and the National Association of the Deaf, among other associations.
Another new emoji, a fall of blood, follows an effort by Plan International for an emoji depicting menstruation. Their first submission — blood-stained panties — has been rejected. Undeterred, the company awakened with the National Health Service and submitted a new proposal for a blood drop.
The groups wrote in their proposal:”Not only would a blood drop emoji be applicable for countless millions of women and people who menstruate all around the Earth, it would also demonstrate that periods aren’t taboo and they are something we should be able to talk about honestly and openly.”
The Unicode Consortium, that curates the emojis, declared the new offerings this past week. They ought to be available on several smartphones in the second half of this year, Unicode said.