Finally, a hearing aid emoji


If one particular emoji has been conspicuously lacking to date from all electronic messaging in the audiology world, it is the hearing aid. Finally, this key symbol of sensory disability is soon to appear on our phone keyboards.

The new official 2019 Emoji 12.0 list, approved this February, will bring a total of 230 new communications icons to major platforms, responding to demands for greater coverage of disabilities. In comes the wheelchair (motorised or manual), the guide dog, the bionic arm, and the hearing aid, among many others.

Emoji policy is decided upon by the non-profit organisation set up to maintain the computer industry standard, Unicode. This California-based Unicode Consortium has received proposals to amplify its symbols in many respects, specifically from Apple in the category of disabilities. New 2019 emoji represent more skin tones, relationship types, genders, and races, as well as more exotic foods and animals.

Now that the decisions on the new emoji icons are made, the process begins on documentation, uptake by platforms such as Google and Apple, specific art for these particular software providers, and release. It could be some months before the new icons appear on your phone or email platform.

Obviously, this 2019 emoji palette will still lack thousands of icons deemed important by someone at some time, so we are still going to have to need those primitive symbols that helped us spread the news for the past few millenia: the word.

Source: The Verge