WASHINGTON — Sesame Workshop is introducing a new Muppet to shine a light on children with disabilities and those who are displaced from their homes due to conflict and crisis around the world.
Ameera is an eight-year-old Muppet who uses her wheelchair or forearm crutches to move around because of a spinal cord injury.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind "Sesame Street" and the local adaptations shown all around the world, describe Ameera as funny, outgoing and a natural leader, with a passion for science and basketball.
Ameera will be formally introduced during the new season of "Ahlan Simsim," which means "Welcome Sesame" in Arabic. The show is the local version of "Sesame Street" that's shown in the Middle East and North Africa.
She will also appear in other Sesame Workshop educational videos including animated "Watch, Play, Learn" videos that focus on a variety of topics like social-emotional learning, science, health and safety.
“Thoughtfully designed to challenge stereotypes and reflect children’s lived experiences, Ameera brings visibility to the more than 12 million displaced persons and 240 million children worldwide estimated to have a disability as well as to the important role of girls in STEM,” Sherrie Westin, president of Sesame Workshop, said in a press release.
In recent years, "Sesame Street" and Sesame Workshop introduced a number of new characters to help expand the show's diversity and to address key topics. In 2017, Julia was introduced as the first Muppet with autism. The show welcomed Karli, a new character in foster care, in 2019. Last year, "Sesame Street" featured a gay couple for the first time, debuted a Asian American Muppet and introduced two new Black Muppets to tackle topics around race and racism.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.