I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present

I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present

By Author / Illustrator

Cerrie Burnell, Lauren Mark Baldo


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Wide Eyed Editions




Paperback / softback




In this stylishly illustrated biography anthology, meet 34 artists, thinkers, athletes and activists with disabilities, from past and present. From Frida Kahlo to Stephen Hawking, find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences and paved the way for others by making their bodies and minds work for them.

These short biographies tell the stories of people who have faced unique challenges which have not stopped them from becoming trailblazers, innovators, advocates and makers. Each person is a leading figure in their field, be it sport, science, maths, art, breakdance or the world of pop.

Challenge your preconceptions of disability and mental health with the eye-opening stories of these remarkable people:  Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Kirchoff, Henri Matisse, Eliza Suggs, Helen Keller,
Frida Kahlo, John Nash, Stephen Hawking, Temple Grandin, Stevie Wonder, Nabil Shaban, Terry Fox,
Peter Dinklage, Wanda Diaz Merced, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, Dr Victor Pineda, Farida Bedwei, Stella Young, Lady Gaga, Arunima Sinha, Naoki Higashida, Isabella Spingmuhl Tejada, Aaron Philip, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Redouan Ait Chitt, Jonas Jacobsson, Trischa Zorn, Ade Adepitan, and Dynamo.

"Intelligent, politically bold, and beautiful to browse [...] Every bookshelf needs a copy." - Disability Arts Online.



In I Am Not A Label, author Cerrie Burnell introduces us to 34 disabled role models from around the world. The book also features historical figures. Writing in a positive way, this fantastic book shows us that living with a disability or chronic illness does not have to define your life or stop you from achieving highly. Lauren Baldo uses incredible portraiture to bring these role models to life.

Famous and less famous people are covered thoroughly. From Stephan Hawking to Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga to Matt Haig, there is someone in this book to interest every reader. Burnell covers both physical disabilities such as blindness, brittle bone disease and dwarfism as well as mental health and other 'invisible' disabilities. Some are surprising and I have no doubt that children will be interested to learn about chronic fatigue syndrome and epilepsy alongside Down's syndrome and cerebral palsy. Exploring disability and difference through the biographies of these remarkable people makes children truly see that nothing is impossible if you try hard enough.

Featuring a clear index, glossary and further reading section, this book has a place on every bookshelf.

64 pages / Ages 7-12 years / Reviewed by Bryony Davies, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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