How would you like to be able to use an accessible emoji?
For anything computer related, APPLE Inc. pretty much sets the standard. iMacs, iPads, and iPhones, already many built-in accessibility features such as, the voice over built-in screen reader, dictation, text to speech, text enlargement and contrast, and a switch control that enables the user to do anything without clicking a mouse.
Multiple options are available to assist people with vision, hearing, physical and learning challenges.
Accessible apps take things even further. Making computers and related devices easier to use, means that more and more of the one in seven people worldwide who have disabilities are now online. Communication and self-expression tools are now readily available.
The old adage, a picture says a thousand words, is alive and well with the use of emojis. Small digital images or icons used to express ideas or emotions are very popular. Simple round faces convey an endless range of emotions and the number of emojis has grown steadily over the past ten years. Now, everything from food, vehicles, hearts, hand symbols and more are on offer to add to your communication messages.
Apple Inc. has always raised the bar and realized that the currently available emojis did not yet represent the life experience of people with disabilities. To that end, they have proposed 13 new emojis to depict people with disabilities.
The tech company points out these initial 13 icons do not cover all possible disabilities. As a starting point, they focused on four main categories: vision, hearing, physical and hidden (invisible) disabilities.
If approved, and why wouldn’t they be, Apple will roll out the new emojis in 2019.
The new accessibility emojis follow the new redhead and same-sex couple emojis. Interracial couple emojis is also on the horizon. One thing you can say about Apple is inclusivity is on their radar.
Thank You Apple
Toys are another great example of raising the bar of inclusion with the creation of diversity dolls. Children learn early about self-image from the people and toys available to them. I, for one, would have loved a doll that reflected my experience in the world.