Welcome to Holland
Please enjoy a video recording of Emily Perl Kingsley reading her essay, Welcome to Holland.
Emily Perl Kingsley is an American writer who joined the Sesame Street team in 1970 and continued to write until retiring in 2015.
Her son Jason Kingsley was born with Down syndrome in 1974. Her experiences with Jason inspired her to include people with disabilities into the Sesame Street cast, including Tarah Schaeffer, an actress who uses a wheelchair, and even Jason himself. Jason's story was the topic of an hour-long NBC television special in 1977, titled "This Is My Son", and with co-author Mitchell Levitz, Jason wrote the book "Count Us In: Growing Up with Down Syndrome".
In 1987 Kingsley wrote "Welcome to Holland", a widely published and translated piece which compares the experience of someone finding out their child has a disability to having a trip to Italy rerouted to Holland. The same year a made-for-television movie she wrote Kids Like These, premiered on CBS-TV. The film, about a middle-aged couple who have a son with Down Syndrome, won numerous awards.
Kingsley has written over 20 children's books and two Sesame Street home video releases (Elmo Learns to Share and Elmo Says BOO!). She recently contributed to two Disney Interactive CD-ROMS.
She has won 23 Daytime Emmys through her work with Sesame Street, three EDIs and a Grand EDI from Easter Seals, and an award from the National Theatre of the Deaf.