Celebrating Disability Pride Month with Samantha Maxwell

July 19 2023

To mark Disability Pride Month, we spoke to Samantha Maxwell about her experiences living with disability.

During the month of July, we celebrate Disability Pride Month, a time created to honour the accomplishments, struggles and experiences of people with disabilities.

The month of July was originally chosen because the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ (ADA) was passed on the 26th of July in 1990. This act was created to prevent discrimination in areas such as employment, transport and public accommodations for disabled people in America.

Disability Pride Month is now used as a time to celebrate self-acceptance and embrace disability. During this time, some choose to celebrate individual achievements whereas others focus on celebrating pride in their disabled identity.

As a disability charity, we want to use this opportunity to kickstart conversations about disability. Whilst we celebrate the massive steps that have been made towards inclusivity, this month is also a key time to bring attention to the progress that still needs to be achieved. To mark Disability Pride Month, we met with author, businesswoman and freelance graphic designer, Samantha Maxwell, to chat about her books and experiences living with cerebral palsy.

Samantha attended our children’s centre for specialist therapy when she was a baby, and again when she was a teenager.

“When I look back at the videos of myself receiving therapy as a child, I can see how dedicated the therapists at Cerebral Palsy Cymru (formerly Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales) were. They let my potential shine through, which I wholeheartedly appreciate” Samantha reflects. “As I got older, the therapists taught me to be as independent as I could. I remember one time, I stood up and took a few steps unaided which was absolutely amazing for me, as it was the first time I ever did something like that. I hold the charity in a special place in my heart, as without their initial help, I don’t think I’d be who I am today.
Cerebral Palsy Cymru gave me hope and encouragement and the skills I needed to live as normally and independently as possible. They gave me a life, they showed me that I can achieve. I speak about the incredible things fully that they did for me in my book ‘CP Isn’t Me’. They gave me the determination to say “Yes I can!” and not be defined by my CP.”

Samantha published her book ‘CP Isn’t Me’ in November 2022 and it is currently stocked in 9 stores and locations across Wales, including The Senedd in Cardiff and Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s therapy centre.

“’CP Isn't Me’ is part autobiographical, part factual. Throughout the book, I talk about my own personal experiences of living with mild cerebral palsy and the social barriers that it can cause. The publication of my book and the positive impact it is having on the lives of so many is possibly my proudest achievement to date. I never dreamed that something that I would write, would gain such interest and positive attention. I’m overwhelmed and honoured by it all, as it is just saying the truth. Disability is normal, and disabled people can have the ability to show their skills, we just need the opportunities to showcase our abilities.”

Samantha is proud to be supporting Disability Pride Month, and wanted to share a personal message to all the young people across Wales living with a disability:

“If there is something you want in life, never be afraid to go and get it. Yes, people might say that you can’t, but you have to say “Yes I can!” and show them your determination to succeed. Your strength is the best thing that you have, show them and your abilities will shine through, make them realise you are worthy. It may take a while but eventually it does work, trust me, I’ve been there, I know all too well the difficulties of trying to be accepted. Just be you. There is nothing more you can do than just to be yourself, that’s it, be persistent, but be patient. If things get too much to handle, write it down, writing is the best therapy anyone can have.”
Samantha Maxwell is pictured next to her book display
Samantha Maxwell pictured on the grass alongside Lesley Griffiths who is holding a copy of CP Isn't Me
Samantha Maxwell pictured in bookshop, next to her book display.

Copies of ‘CP Isn’t Me’ are available from Amazon UK and numerous stores across Wales. To find the most up to date stocklist, please visit Samantha’s social media pages:

Facebook: CP Isn’t Me

Instagram: @cpisntme

Twitter: @cpisntme

YouTube: @SamanthaMaxwellAuthor

LinkedIn: Samantha Maxwell

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