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Sesame Street Launches Major Autism Initiative

“See Amazing in All Children” campaign to foster greater understanding about autism for all children and families

 New York, NY—(October 21, 2015) –– Sesame Workshop today announced a major autism initiative to help de-stigmatize autism, which affects one in 68 American children.  Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children will provide resources to families, teachers and caregivers around the country to educate them about autism, and tools to help families touched by autism with everyday activities.   This initiative was funded with generous support from American Greetings, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Kristen Rohr, and aligns with Sesame Workshop’s mission to help all children grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

The digital content includes a new Sesame friend, Julia, a preschool girl with autism who does things a little differently when playing with her friends, the loveable Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Grover.  See Amazing, available at www.SesameStreet.org/Autism, includes guides to simplify activities and overcome common challenges such as washing hands, brushing teeth, going to the supermarket, and bedtime routines.   This initiative is the culmination of more than two years of production and testing, leveraging the powerful educational and research-based approach that Sesame applies to all of its educational programs.

“Sesame Workshop is uniquely positioned to play a meaningful role in increasing peoples’ understanding about autism,” said Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President, Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop.  “This project is an extension of the belief we’ve always promoted: ‘we are all different, but all the same.’  I am passionate about this initiative, and am so proud of the partnerships with the autism community that have led to this.”

The content of See Amazing includes:

  • An iPad app Sesame and Autism (available on iTunes)
  • A responsive website at SesameStreet.org/Autism designed with adaptations such as larger buttons, audio-off options, and the ability for children to customize content
  • New videos, including a music video, “Amazing”, with Elmo, Abby, Grover and their friends
  • Digital and printed story books, We’re Amazing 1,2,3!, featuring Elmo, Abby and Julia
  • Digital family routine cards that support everyday activities
  • Tips for parents, and activities for siblings
  • Powerful videos of families with autistic children, produced by the Sesame Street production team with editing assistance by students at Exceptional Minds, a non-profit animation studio for young adults on the autism spectrum

For over 45 years, Sesame Workshop’s mission has been to serve the world’s most vulnerable children, to make them smarter, stronger and kinder.  Its philanthropic work includes major projects to help military families; help children process grief, incarceration of their parents, food insecurity, and financial insecurity.

Collaborating Partners

Autism Now/The Arc

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Autism Society

Autism Speaks

Barber National Institute

Council for Exceptional Children

Exceptional Minds

The Institute on Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago

Social Skills Research Clinic at Indiana University

iSchool at University of Toronto

Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs

TEACCH Autism Program

Research in Early Autism Detection and Intervention (READi) Lab at University of Washington

Yale Child Study Center

 

Press Contacts:               

Philip Toscano

Publicity Director, Global Social Impact, Sesame Workshop

212.875.6687

philip.toscano@sesame.org

Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.

American Greetings Corporation

As a leader in meaningful connections, American Greetings Corporation is a creator and manufacturer of innovative social expression products that assist consumers in making the world a more thoughtful and caring place. Founded in 1906, the Company’s major greeting card lines are American Greetings, Carlton Cards, Gibson, Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus, and other paper product offerings include DesignWare party goods and American Greetings and Plus Mark gift-wrap and boxed cards. American Greetings also has one of the largest collections of greetings on the Web, including greeting cards available at Cardstore.com and electronic greeting cards available at AmericanGreetings.com. In addition to its product lines, American Greetings also creates and licenses popular character brands through American Greetings Entertainment. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, American Greetings generates annual revenue of approximately $2 billion, and its products can be found in retail outlets worldwide. For more information on the Company, visit www.corporate.americangreetings.com.

 Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1.5 billion in assets. For more information visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.

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