Sesame Street gets a resident with a wheelchair
SShe has two pigtails, wears a yellow jacket, is quite cheeky and uses a wheelchair: Sesame Street has a new resident. The doll is called Elin and is seven years old. For the first time, a character with a disability strengthens the German puppet ensemble, he said North German Broadcasting (NDR) on Sunday in Hamburg.
“The German “Sesame Street” has been colorful and diverse for 50 years. Monsters and people of all skin and fur colors are at home here,” said NDR program director Frank Beckmann, according to the announcement. In the past, children with disabilities were shown and explained how they live and what they can do on “Sesame Street”. “Now the world of dolls is becoming a bit more inclusive.”
The impetus for the new character came from the Equal Opportunities Officer at NDR, René Schaar. According to the information, the aim in developing the new doll was also that all children should feel equally represented in “Sesame Street”. “Elin uses the wheelchair because she can’t walk very well,” Schaar said of the new doll. “But this aspect should not dominate too much. Because being disabled is just one of many characteristics that define Elin. As NDR, we are called upon to make the potential of disabled people visible and to contribute to openness towards them. Elin is helping us on this journey.”
Bold and confident
Elin has a great interest in technology and numbers, she likes to do handicrafts and often finds surprising solutions. She’s also bold and confident, and a little impatient when things don’t go perfectly right away. Elin was built by the Jim Henson Company, the wheelchair comes from the NDR workshops. The puppet is played by Iris Schleuss and hand player Charlie Kaiser.
Elin will make her television debut in the fall. Then the new, 50th season of the children’s program will be shown on television, on the Internet and in the ARD media library. Elin made her debut as a challenger to Cookie Monster in an episode of Prime Climate, the new Sesame Street quiz show spoof. The series addresses environmental and climate protection issues in an entertaining and child-friendly way.