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‘Sesame Street’ Celebrates Deaf History Month with Music Videos in ASL

March 17, 2022
Source: Yahoo Life

Deaf History Month began on March 13 and to celebrate, Sesame Workshop partnered with the National Theater of the Deaf to create music videos featuring American Sign Language (ASL) for kids all across the country.

According to the National Institute of Health about two to three of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. have a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. The partnership comes from Sesame Workshop’s dedication to representing and supporting children everywhere.

As part of the campaign, children can dance and sing alongside beloved Sesame Street pals like Elmo, Oscar and Telly to tunes interpreted in ASL, performed by ASL teacher Joey Antonio, actress Amelia Hensley and TikTok and YouTube creator Phelan Conheady, each of whom are deaf.

“In our research, we noticed there wasn’t a lot of content on YouTube focused on the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community,” says Vera Verba, the director of YouTube content and programming for Sesame Workshop. “We saw an opportunity to work with the National Theatre of the Deaf to create high-quality ASL videos using some favorite Sesame Street songs.”

“With a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder, Sesame Workshop is committed to providing kids and families with the support they need,” Verba adds, “whether through our television programs, social impact initiatives or YouTube videos.”

This inclusive collaboration features four music videos with Elmo and the gang, who are also joined by two world-renowned musicians. Kids can sing and dance with Elmo during kids’ classic “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” Will.i.Am in “What I Am,” a song about being yourself, and Feist as she performs her hit song “1,2,3,4.” The rest of the Sesame Street gang comes out for “The Alphabet Song,” with less-seen characters like Baby Bear and Slimey the worm joining in the fun.

Deaf History Month continues through April 15.

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