Why are you pretending to be normal?

My Book

Why Are You Pretending to be Normal?

By Phil Friend OBE, Hon D.Sc and Dave Rees

  • Do you want to manage your disability positively?
  • Are you feeling frustrated that people don't understand your needs?
  • If you have a disability or know someone who does then you should read this book.

Why are you pretending to be normal? asks the questions that anyone with a disability needs to ask themselves.

This engaging story offers viewpoints and ideas that have already inspired many disabled people to stop simply coping with their disability and start managing it. This has enabled them to lead more productive and satisfying lives.

Phil Friend and Dave Rees present practical tools and techniques which have helped many disabled people successfully deal with the most challenging aspects of living with a disability.

Artwork for Phil's book

The Authors


Phil Friend headshot

Phil was born in London and contracted polio in 1949.

As a wheelchair user he worked in social work until the late 1980’s but since setting up his business he has focussed on disability in the workplace. He has been engaged by some of the UK’s major corporations and public sector organisations and has had a significant influence on how organisations manage disability in the workplace.

He is married to Sue, lives in Hertfordshire and has four children and four grandchildren.


Dave Rees headshot

Dave has spent 20 years training and developing people in enhancing their communication and influencing skills in the workplace. He is a Chartered Manager with the Chartered Management Institute and supports managers to understand what impact they have and how they can improve their effectiveness in leadership skills.

Along with Phil he designed and has delivered the Personal and Career Development Programmes for Disabled Staff since 2001.

He was born in Shropshire, is married to Carole, has a daughter and lives in South Wales.



Purchase the Kindle Edition via Amazon. Prices vary.



The audiobook can be purchased for download from Amazon Audible  and iTunes. The audiobook includes a song written by Steve Hillman with lyrics by Dave Rees and Phil Friend called Tunnel Vision.

The paperback version can be purchased for via PayPal £7.50, which includes includes postage and packaging for a single book (UK shipping only).

If you would like to purchase more than one copy, require international shipping, or wish to pay by an alternative method (i.e. cheque) please contact Phil.

Price per book

Julie Fernandez, Actor and Campaigner

Kate Nash

Kate Nash OBE

Julie Fernandez

"The book is funny, real and logical. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to make sense of disability and particularly the leaders of workplace disability networks that are growing like topsy in the UK. This book provides a great tool for us to pass on to others struggling to make sense of disability, health condition, accident or illness at work. I am looking forward to their next book already!"

"This book should be read by any professional that works either directly or on the fringes with disabled people from, doctors, nurses, social workers, benefits advisors etc.

In fact it should be read by everyone including children in school as it offers great insight into the lives of disabled people and how we wish to be treated."

The Right Honourable David Blunkett, MP

"I think the book will be extremely valuable in stimulating discussion not solely by people with disabilities and their families but the wider community. "

Caroline Waters

Caroline Waters OBE

"...[A] must read for anyone who cares about how we interact as human beings and how our society develops. It offers a clear and compelling blueprint for how we should live life."

David Blunkett
Susan Scott-Parker

Susan Scott-Parker OBE, CEO Business Disability Forum

"This book is bursting with great ideas based on a unique wealth of personal experience of both the reality of disability and the reality of work - employers wanting to realise the potential of every employee should ensure copies are readily and widely available."

Alice Maynard

Dr Alice Maynard CBE

"I hope[this book] will start many people on the journey to an empowered life where they no longer see themselves as 'the problem', but understand where the real problems lie so they can deal with them. "

Praise for