Watch Oscar Winner Troy Kotsur Teach Word of the Day in Sign Language on 'Sesame Street'

The CODA actor went on Sesame Street to teach viewers the word of the day using American Sign Language

Oscar Winner Troy Kotsur Teaches Sign Language on Sesame Street
Photo: Courtesy of Sesame Street

Troy Kotsur is visiting Sesame Street!

The Oscar winner appeared on a special edition of Sesame Street's "Word of the Day" segment. Joined by the show's characters Rosita and Count, Kotsur, 53, explained to them that he is "deaf and [he uses] American Sign Language to communicate."

"Oh, but I don't know any American Sign Language," Rosita said.

"Me either. How will you know what we are saying?" asked Count, to which Kotsur told them not to worry as he introduced them to his friend and translator Xavier so they "can all communicate together."

Rosita added, "There are so many ways we can communicate."

Kotsur continued, "You know, today's word of the day is all about that. The word of the day is diversity," which he signed with his hands and called on them to do the same.

Rosita then asks, "What does diversity mean Señor Troy?" Signing, the actor explained, "Diversity is understanding and appreciating our differences. Differences in the way we look, where we are from and how we communicate."

To answer Rosita's question about what makes Kotsur who he is, the Oscar winner shared that his family is from the Czech Republic, he is an actor and deaf.

While the puppets are amazed at how different they are, Kotsur noted, "But one thing that we all have in common is that we are all friends," and asked Rosita and Count to sign the word "friends" with him.

RELATED VIDEO: Troy Kotsur Says He's 'So Blessed' to Be an Oscar Nominee: 'It Has Saved My Career

Back in March, Kotsur made history as the first deaf man to win Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his performance in Best Picture winner CODA. With his win, he also became the second deaf person to ever win an Oscar, the first being his CODA costar Marlee Matlin back in 1987.

In CODA, Kotsur plays a fisherman who, along with his wife (Matlin), rely on their hearing daughter Ruby (Emilia Jones) to interpret for them.

Kotsur spoke with PEOPLE about what his nomination meant to him — after already having taken home a BAFTA, SAG Award and Critics Choice Award for his performance — saying he was "so blessed."

"I was able to say, 'Finally, hearing people are able to feel and see and experience my silent experience,'" he said. "I've had a lifetime of silence, throughout my life."

Troy Kotsur, winner of the Actor in a Supporting Role award for ‘CODA’ poses in the press room during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022
Mike Coppola/Getty

"So that moment, it really strikes people, and they begin to understand that they take their hearing for granted," Kotsur explained. "And with even 30 seconds of silence, they can start walking in our shoes."

In February, Kotsur told PEOPLE via an interpreter about how he is proud to to represent the deaf community alongside Matlin, whom he describes as his "mentor."

"Marlee has been my mentor," he said. "She was alone for many years. I understand what Marlee went through and I'm more than happy to support her. And so now I'm becoming more familiar with the industry and all the politics through my experience of the last 30 years. So, I think now I can support Hollywood in opening their mind to gain a new perspective."

He continued: "Bottom line is I'm so happy that I've had the experience and the training so that young, deaf people on stage and TV and film can have more opportunities. I'm excited to help them. And so CODA has been a game-changer and Marlee too, in that way."

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