Zach Anner fist bumps with Micah Fowler in a scene from “Speechless.? ABC/Richard Cartwright

This week’s “Speechless? on ABC featured a guest role for Austin’s Zach Anner. Anner, you might remember, won an Oprah Winfrey OWN contest to create his own show, a travel show called “Rollin’ with Zach.?

Recently, Anner has been at BookPeople celebrating the paperback release of his autobiography “If at Birth You Don’t Succeed.?


In “Speechless,? Anner’s character gives mom Maya hope that one day JJ will be able to drive a car when she sees Anner’s character driving a car.  Both Anner and JJ (Micah Fowler) have cerebral palsy.

What we love about “Speechless? is that it is about real people. It doesn’t try to sugarcoat life as a child in a wheelchair or life raising a child in a wheelchair. The struggles that JJ faces are the same struggles that all teens face, just slightly different. In this episode, JJ wants to be able to be independent and rolls away from Maya after she tries to do everything for him.

Anner’s character gives JJ good advice: Find a space to be independent. He regretted that he let his mom do everything for him because she would, rather than figuring out how to do things himself. It made for a harder transition to independence.