This article explores Joan La Barbara's appearance on Sesame Street with ‘The Signing Alphabet’ (1977) to engage her artistic commitments to accessibility and collaboration. The piece is an alphabet song rendered through vocal improvisation against an animation of the American Manual Alphabet by Steve Finkin. It plays with the relationships between sound, alphabets, learning and literacy, reaching new listening publics: children and their caregivers. Through the visibility it offers Deaf culture, the work generates frames through which to hear La Barbara's voice and see the limitations of her vocal extensions. The piece reveals other paths for new music in the 1970s, placing La Barbara's creativity in the context of educational programing aimed at normalising difference, especially in the context of disability, race and class. Sesame Street and Joan La Barbara, I suggest, imbue vocal extension and exploration with an ethos of care.