'Sesame Street' videos get an accessibility expansion with new descriptive audio and ASL features

An upgrade for both English and Spanish content.
By Chase DiBenedetto  on 
A group of Sesame Street and Plaza Sesamo characters smile to camera.
Sesame Workshop unveils new web features for children with disabilities. Credit: Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop, the educational arm of childhood favorite Sesame Street, is rolling out an accessibility upgrade to both its English- and Spanish-language online content, as the nonprofit announces new versions of its videos now featuring captions, audio descriptions, and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretations.

Spanish-language episodes of the shows Sesame Street and Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck will be released with descriptive audio and captions for young viewers with disabilities. And expanded accessibility options will be added to video series on the organization's Plaza Sésamo YouTube channel, which hosts Spanish-language shows Plaza Sésamo, Listos a Jugar, Pequeñas Aventureras, Monstruos en Red, Elmo and Tango's Mysterious Mysteries, and The Furchester Hotel.

"At Sesame Workshop, we are committed to providing engaging content to help all children grow smarter, stronger and kinder. We address critical needs through a wide range of activities and resources on multiple platforms to reach our audience wherever they are," wrote Sesame Workshop executive vice president Whit Higgins.

Audio descriptions and ASL will be added to select, English-language emotional well-being content in the initial rollout, as well, including Sesame Workshop's videos "The Feelings Garden," "Me & My Grown-Up," and "I Notice, I Feel, I Can," available online and on the Sesame Workshop YouTube channel.

The organization says the move expands on its commitment to improving childhood mental health and emotional well-being. In May, Sesame Workshop announced a new hub of emotional well-being resources and character special, "Elmo's Mindfulness Spectacular," aimed at providing support for families in the mission of addressing a growing youth mental health crisis. The first wave of updated content focuses on making these emotional well-being resources accessible to all.

Starting on Sept. 18, Sesame Workshop will release a three-part series on positive emotional strategies for caregivers and children, a collaboration with "The Happiness Lab" podcast.

Sesame Street also hosts an ASL song series on its YouTube page.

"Sesame Workshop will continue to roll out descriptive audio and ASL versions of content covering topics such as school readiness, financial education, and professional development," the organization wrote in its announcement.

The initiative is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education and is a partnership with Dicapta, a communications technology company focused on making media accessible for people with sensory disabilities and Spanish speakers in the U.S.

"Dicapta has been providing accessibility services to the Latinx community with disabilities for nearly two decades," wrote Maria-Victoria Diaz, CEO and president of Dicapta. "Our partnership with Sesame Workshop, under our EnhAccess project, helps us advance our mission — to provide accessible content to families in the U.S."

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Chase sits in front of a green framed window, wearing a cheetah print shirt and looking to her right. On the window's glass pane reads "Ricas's Tostadas" in red lettering.
Chase DiBenedetto
Social Good Reporter

Chase joined Mashable's Social Good team in 2020, covering online stories about digital activism, climate justice, accessibility, and media representation. Her work also touches on how these conversations manifest in politics, popular culture, and fandom. Sometimes she's very funny.


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