New emojis have been announced, to be introduced later in the year to reflect different disabilities.  The move comes after campaigners have been saying for years that they are under-represented in the official catalogue of emojis that are available to use on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

There are 230 new emojis being introduced, which cover 59 new basic images, plus variants for gender and skin tone.  The new characters include hearing aids, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, white “probing” canes and guide dogs.  There is also a character moving a finger between ear and mouth, which is the American Sign Language sign for ‘deaf’.

Another addition to the emoji library is a drop of blood. Its addition follows a campaign by Plan International UK, a girls’ rights charity that held an online vote in 2017 for what a period-themed emoji should look like.  The most popular choice was a pair of pants marked by blood but when that was rejected by the Unicode Consortium, the charity pushed for a blood drop instead.

Other new images have been introduced, including an otter, a waffle, the planet Saturn, with rings, and a flamingo.