ABC’s hit show “Speechless” has just been renewed for a second season. The show, which focuses on JJ DiMeo, a teenager with cerebral palsy, is one of the few shows of its kind–a show that focuses on someone with special needs. Minnie Driver, who plays Maya DiMeo, the family matriarch, tweeted out the news.
Well, @Speechless_ABC has officially been picked up for a second season. 🎯🏆
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) May 12, 2017
Actor Micah Fowler is the Jewish teen who plays the lead character–and is one of the few actors in Hollywood with a disability who also plays a character with a disability. Fowler told The Mighty that making the show is important to him as a way to raise awareness for people with disabilities:
“I hope as people watch ‘Speechless,’ they get to know JJ as a very normal person, to the point that the don’t even see the disability. I specifically hope to bring a huge amount of public awareness to cerebral palsy. [M]ost importantly, my hope is that the show will make people less uncomfortable around people with disabilities and more encouraged to interact with them, to look beyond the physical or other limitation and see the real person, the heart, the personality, the love and yes, even the humor.”
Fowler also previously told People that he’s tired of actors with disabilities being typecast:
“Actors with disabilities face typecasting and a lack of auditioning opportunities, but I don’t let [it] define me. I see those things as challenges and not barriers.
I have to compensate physically by being extremely expressive with my facial expressions and body movements. Sometimes I’ve just wanted to blurt out what I am saying and feeling!”
Fowler made several videos for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Nothing is impossible–and having a disability doesn’t mean you’re fragile, as he puts it:
Last month, the entire cast also spoke to ABC news about how the show is making a difference:
The season finale airs this Wednesday.