New disabled puppet on Sesame Street

Ameera, the latest Muppet character from the team at Sesame Workshop, will soon make her debut on the new season of “Ahlan Simsim,” the version of “Sesame Street” that airs in the Middle East and North Africa.

A born leader, Ameera is 8 years old and loves science and basketball. When she’s not dreaming up experiments or shooting hoops, she loves cracking jokes and making her friends laugh.

Ameera also happens to use a wheelchair or forearm crutches because of a spinal cord injury. That small detail is meant to acknowledge the estimated 12 million people with disabilities around the world who have been forcibly displaced. The hope, the Sesame Workshop team says, is that children with physical disabilities will see themselves in Ameera, and that able-bodied children will see Ameera as not so different from them after all.

Ameera is a really fun and cool girl,” said Deborah Marie Rodríguez García, education manager of humanitarian programs at Sesame Workshop. “She loves sports, and she loves science, technology, engineering and math. We wanted to make sure that that is represented as well — that girls can go against the gender stereotypes and biases.”Aside from being a regular character on “Ahlan Simsim,” Ameera will also be featured in a series of early learning videos aimed at children displaced by conflict around the world — the videos are currently being adapted for kids affected by the war in Ukraine.