The Media Archive for Central England is the public screen archive for the East and West Midlands. An independent charity and company based at the University of Lincoln, MACE acquires, catalogues, preserves and makes widely available moving image materials that inform our understanding of the diverse cultures and histories of communities between the Lincolnshire coast and the Welsh border.
This film is part of Free
From Selly Oak to Birmingham's Head Post Office in a wheelchair - how hard could it be?
From the collection of:
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.