Samsung's emoji translator may seem silly, but what it really does is heartwarming.

Elisa used to share everything with her aunt, Gemma.

But one day, an aneurysm gave Gemma aphasia, a disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans and their ability to speak, read, or understand language. Almost overnight, their way of communicating ground to a halt.

Their story is featured in a new Samsung ad. Their frustration and isolation is heart-wrenching.


While aphasia might make speaking and reading difficult, it doesn't affect a person's ability to recognize symbols or read faces. Including, it turns out, little yellow emoji smiley faces.

Here's where Samsung comes in. The company's Italian team has created an emoji-based, free chat app to help people with aphasia and other language disorders.

The app, called Wemogee, functions as a text-to-emoji translator. It’s programmed with a library of more than 140 phrases. Text messages selected by one party get automatically translated to emojis and vice-versa.

Image from Samsung Italia.

Having standardized phrases is also neat because it might help save someone like Elise from having to hunt for the perfect emoji. It's all already in there. No misunderstandings.

Elise and Gemma might not be able to chat the same way they used to, but this idea could help make things easier. And while people with aphasia and other speech disorders might only make up a subset of our population, it's really cool to see a communications company setting out to make sure everyone has a voice.

See more of Elise and Gemma and the app in action in the video below.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


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