Users of iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products will get a new set of disability-themed emojis as part of a push to make text messaging more inclusive. Among the new symbols: a guide dog, a hearing aid, a wheelchair, and even some prosthetic limbs. “These new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” a company statement reads. In March 2018, Apple submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that governs new emojis, and wrote that while current emojis represent a wide array of options, they don’t represent the experience of people with disabilities. “We’ve had ghosts, robots, a poo with a face, and even 10 empty squares to choose from,” Kristina Barrick, the spokeswoman for disability charity Scope, told CNN, “so it’s about time emojis started to better represent the 15 percent of the global population who are disabled.”
In addition, Apple and Google are also rolling out new emojis of diverse couples of different genders and races, as well as sloths, flamingos, and a yawning emoji. Apple’s new holding hands emoji will allow people to pick from variations of skin tone and gender, with 75 options altogether. The new emojis will be available on keyboards in the fall.