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11/10/06 - New telephone service to provide disabled access information

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    01344 360101.

    Arthritis Care LogoReleased: 11 October, 2006

    New telephone service to provide disabled access information.

    A new service will be launched tomorrow by Arthritis Care and Direct Enquiries to provide disabled people with a dedicated Access Information Line*.

    The new initiative, created for Arthritis Care members, is part of an ongoing relationship between the two organisations and recognises the fact that not all disabled people have access to the internet.  It provides an alternative means of obtaining information that is vital to helping them gain access to services and facilities non-disabled people take for granted.

    Arthritis Care members can use the information line** in a manner similar to other directory services currently available.  However, where the others provide little more than basic contact information, this new service can provide details on a wide range of access information, including facilities for:

    • People with mobility impairments
    • People with hearing impairments
    • Wheelchair users
    • People with visual impairments
    • People requiring disabled toilets and changing facilities
    • Parents with pushchairs

    (In total the new service can provide information on around 30 different types of access facility and searches can be prioritised by 17 of these.)

    The search engine and data behind the new service is provided by Direct Enquiries, the Nationwide Access Register, who currently provide an online access register at www.directenquiries.com, which is completely free to users.

    The phone service is open between 9.00am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Arthritis Care members wishing to use the new telephone information service can obtain the number from Arthritis Care.

    Arthritis Care, Chief Executive, Neil Betteridge said:  “This innovative new service should be of great benefit to all of our members, many of whom would like to use the service online but have been unable to because of their arthritis.  By working with Direct Enquiries we have been able to offer a unique service that aims to make the lives of thousands of people easier by providing greater choice and the ability to plan ahead.

    Direct Enquiries, which receives over 1.3 million hits per month, contains listings for many high street brands as well as thousands of independent shops and public buildings.  The site is also one of the UK’s leading providers of advice and information to businesses wishing to improve their access and contains a huge selection of articles, advice and free tools.

    Arthritis Care is the UK's largest voluntary organisation working with and for people with arthritis, helping them to take control of their arthritis and their lives.  For information about its full range of services visit www.arthritiscare.org.uk

    *Whilst Direct Enquiries tries to provide truly comprehensive data, the list of registered companies is still growing.  Where access information does not exist for a particular store, contact details can be provided and wherever possible local alternatives with suitable access will be provided.

    **Calls to the information line will be charged at the National Rate.


    Notes to Editors

    directenquiries.com, was developed as the Nationwide Disabled Access Register in 2002 in partnership with RADAR (Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation) and The Employers' Forum on Disability.  During the past 12 months the information available has grown to include access for parents with pushchairs as well as the general public.  This allowed directenquiries.com to rebrand as The Nationwide Access Register in January 2006.

    Directenquiries.com is the only Nationwide Access Register specifically designed for companies to showcase their disabled access and other facilities.  On average, directenquiries.com receives over 1.3 million hits each month from people looking for businesses, organisations and services with the disabled access they require.   Registration is only £35 per year, per location, for which companies receive the following:

    • Nationwide registration on directenquiries.com detailing company name, address and other contact details, including links to their website, should they have one.
    • Access to the Action Plan 
    • A “More Information” section, equivalent to five pages of A4, updateable on a daily basis.  This allows businesses to include information on forthcoming additions or changes to their disabled access as well as useful information about their business in general
    • Feedback facility providing customer comments and opinion

    For users, directenquires.com provides a full directory service for UK companies detailing the access and facilities available at those registered with directenquiries.com.  The register currently includes disabled access information on leading high street names such as Boots, LloydsTSB, Argos, Gap, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express, PC World and Waterstone’s as well as thousands of small and independent businesses.  The disabled access information encompasses everything from parking, entrances, lifts, toilets, counter heights, wheelchair and pushchair access to staff assistance and auxiliary aids such as Braille, large print and induction loops.

    For further information, images and interviews please contact us on 01344 360101 or e-mail press@directenquiries.com