Facebook Rolls Out Disability Avatars
Facebook is introducing new avatar options designed to allow people with disabilities to better express themselves across the platform.
The social media giant’s parent company Meta said this week that it’s rolling out avatars with assistive devices including wheelchairs, cochlear implants and over-the-ear hearing aids for one or both ears.
The new options, which are available in a variety of colors, build on what Meta says are more than one quintillion customizations already available for avatars — cartoon-like characters that users can create of themselves.
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“We’ve been hard at work … expanding avatars so that they better reflect the billions of unique people on this planet,” said Aigerim Shorman, general manager for avatars and identity at Meta, in a posting about the update. “Today we’re taking that further, adding new facial shapes and assistive devices for people with disabilities.”
Avatars can now be used in Facebook, Messenger, Instagram Stories, DMs and VR, the company said, through stickers, feed posts, profile pictures and more.
In addition to adding more options for avatars, Meta said it is also working to make them more authentic for users with tweaks to skin shades and facial shapes.
Meta said it is gradually adding the new avatar options for users over the next few months.