This film is part of Free

Wheelchair Access

From Selly Oak to Birmingham's Head Post Office in a wheelchair - how hard could it be?

Magazine and Review show 1981 7 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


In 1981 able-bodied news reporter Jon Lander spent a day in a wheelchair pretending to be disabled and struggling through Birmingham. The fact that not one disabled person features is telling but Lander does make some good points. He's treated like a piece of luggage by British Rail and in the city centre it's no better with four people having to haul him into the Head Post Office. And as for boarding a bus - it's going to be 20 years before an accessible one turns up.

Jon Lander's film report was broadcast as part of the ATV political series Left Right and Centre. Wheelchair-simulation exercises like these were used a lot to raise public awareness about poor accessibility in the 1980s but their value and impact to remove barriers and change a disabling society has since been questioned.