Wheels of misfortune

In these very politically correct times where prisoners in the UK are rightly deemed ‘human-being-enough’ to merit a vote there is very little in the liberal intelligentsia-led media about blatant flagrancies of the mobility rights of disabled people.

Never mind that you have to pay up to £13.50 for a seat in some London cinemas as I did last week to watch the excellent film Carlos

Never mind that I had to sit in a cinema with a screen smaller than my mate Tim’s HD TV – OK these are hard times and cinemas have to make the best use of broom cupboards. But what would happen in the event of a fire or forced evacuation? In the case of the cinema I was at, The Curzon in Mayfair, there is no wheelchair access to the tiny ‘intimate’ as the cinema calls its second screen, so filing down a narrow set of stairs after the film is a problem only for able-bodied people.

Disabled football supporter
The people's game: A disabled fan enjoying the match
But if you think about it, this is actually a big problem and one which, for once, football seems to have done a lot of groundbreaking work. Most grounds now have excellent access and facilities for disabled people and our shoot with a model who is a Chester City fan shows how his disability is no impairment to enjoying a day out watching his team on the road.

The website http://www.visitlondon.com /maps/accessibility/ shows that things may be improving but if you are able bodied, next time you go out for a few hours, have a think if all the things you do in that time would be available to a wheelchair user. From getting on a bus or tube to getting to the bar to order a drink, from trying on clothes in a store to showing them off in a club – how accessible really is the first world to a person sitting in a chair all day and night?

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