Television Embraces Disability

From “Temple Grandin” to “Glee,” characters with developmental disabilities were hard to miss when flipping the dial this year.

Some were played by individuals who have disabilities themselves — Lauren Potter and Robin Trocki of “Glee” both have Down syndrome, for example — while other characters were remarkably portrayed by typically developing actors, such as Max Burkholder who plays a boy with Asperger’s syndrome on “Parenthood.”

The presence of characters with disabilities didn’t go without notice. HBO’s biopic “Temple Grandin” scored seven Emmys for capturing the experiences of the autism self-advocate. And the cable network also aired the award winning documentary “Monica & David,” which follows a couple with Down syndrome who get married.

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