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  1. ITV Report

230 new emoji released in move to make characters more inclusive

The new emoji released include a deaf person, an ear with a hearing aid and a motorised wheelchair. Credit: Emojipedia

A motorised wheelchair, mixed-race families and a sari are the latest characters to be added to the emoji alphabet.

The characters, which are used worldwide as part of text-based conversation, have been updated to add 230 new options. In total 59 new distinct emoji will be added, variations of colour will give users more options to personalise their messages.

The update improves inclusivity and adds more options for animals and activities.

The new additions also include some fun emoji, including a waffle and an otter. Credit: Emojipedia

The move comes as Unicode, the organisation that approves the characters, responds to requests to become more inclusive. It is its fourth significant update since 2014.

Previous updates have added Welsh and Scottish flags to the alphabet. In October, Apple users benefited from being able to use a kangaroo and a lobster to their messages.

The characters will be added to mobile phones and computers later this year, Unicode says.

The full list of emoji to be added have been previewed on a website dedicated to the characters, and in a video posted on Youtube by the organisation behind the design.

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Developers are free to adapt emoji to their own design but are bound to sticking within the same parameters designated by the California-based consortium.

Further additions included in the update include a mechanical arm, a deaf person and a person using a cane to feel their way around.

More light-hearted additions include an otter, a waffle and a flamingo.