When it comes to introducing children to new people, places and ideas, few do it as well as Sesame Street. Since the 1970s, the show has consistently introduced children to people and characters living with disabilities, including many wheelchair users. One of Sesame Street’s newest characters is continuing that tradition, but with a twist. Meet Brandeis, the street’s newest service dog!
In his debut episode, Brandeis, a yellow lab looking for a new job, meets Hercules. Hercules is a real life service dog from Canine Companions for Independence, the same organization that provided Magee with our current facility dog Joey! Long-time Sesame Street actor Gina explains the job of a service dog to Brandeis, and well, he is on board.
After several weeks of training, he becomes an official service dog to Liliana, a young girl who uses a wheelchair. Not only does the episode do a great job explaining service dogs to children, but it’s also, as expected, unbelievably sweet. Check out the video below to see Brandeis meet his “special person,” and let us know what you think! What other characters would you like to see on Sesame Street to help children better understand disabilities?