Why are you pretending to be normal?


‘Why are you pretending to be normal?’

A couple of months ago I was approached in my capacity as DTG chair by Phil Friend, and asked if I could help him publicise his and Dave Rees’ book, ‘Why are you pretending to be normal’. Having read it I would like to share my thoughts on it.

‘Why are you pretending to be normal’ is a short book (about 120 large print pages), which explains the journey of Chris, who has recently acquired a disability. Struggling to come to terms with this Chris is supported by a work colleague who introduces her to a number of their friends who, in a series of informal meetings, discuss with Chris a range of disability issues.

Through these conversations the book explains the social model of disability, and also covers the use of language in restricting or empowering people. It then goes on to encourage people to stop simply coping with their disability and start managing it, enabling them to live more fulfilling lives. In Phil’s own words ‘this book is for people with any disability, it’s really about helping them to see that they can be different’.

The greatest strength of the book is that it explains these issues in an engaging and enjoyable, simple, yet non-patronising way. At times it is inspirational, and I recommend it to anyone who has recently acquired a disability, their family and friends, and anyone who works with disabled people. Although the book doesn’t specifically deal with employment issues, I think careers practitioners will find it useful.

For further information please contact Phil Friend at phil.friends@sky-mail.net or telephone 07774-944246

A paperback version is available at http://www.philandfriends.co.uk/book priced £7.50 including p&p. Paperback and Kindle version also available at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-are-pretending-normal-ebook/dp/B00DPKDXYM

Eddie Tunnah, Chair, AGCAS Disability Task Group.  April 2014.


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