TWO St Albans men with disabilities are celebrating the publication of their book, written to help people with learning and physical challenges overcome employment barriers.

The book, User Driven, was created as the result of the WorkABILITY project, set up to help students with disabilities in Hertfordshire find work experience placements.

Mark Harris, of Wheathampstead, worked as the editor and project manager. The 18-year-old, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, hopes that the book will challenge people's views on disabilities. He said: "Hopefully the book will inform people about what it's like to have a disability and will show that we're capable of working."

Andrew Bird, 23, of St Albans wrote a number of articles for the book, including an article about the challenges he has faced as a result of his disability. Andrew has Spastic Quadraplegia Cerebral Palsy, which means he is in a wheelchair and has no use of his hands, but he is keen to show that this does not hold him back. He said: "I feel proud of the book because it shows the work that can be done by people with physical challenges."

Two friends of the pair also contributed to the book: Patrick Fitzgerald, 24, fro Hatfield who has Asperger's Syndrome and Katie Fraser, 32, from Welwyn Village who has a learning disability and mild osteoporosis.

The WorkABILITY project is run by the charity Hertfordshire Personal Assistant Support Service (PASS) and is believed to be one of the only charities in the UK to adopt a user-driven approach to helping people with disabilities to access employment.

  • To purchase of copy of User Driven, funded by the Local Network Fund, e-mail or call 01707321442.