It seems appropriate on Sesame Street's 40th birthday to mention Emily Perl Kingsley. She wrote the story: Welcome to Holland. It was one of the first things sent to me after we received Micah's diagnosis. Link here for the text. This story made me feel like I wasn't alone. And through it I realized that the sooner I accepted that Italy wasn't going to be our destination, the more I would enjoy Holland.
Ms. Kingsley has a son with Down syndrome and she is a writer for Sesame Street. I'm fairly certain that she has had a major impact on the show having actors with disabilities.
I've actually heard of people not letting their children watch Sesame Street because it doesn't portray an accurate view of society (too "politically correct"). But I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, one of Micah's future classmates will accept him as he is because she learned on Sesame Street that kids who are "different" aren't really that different after all.