A NEW website designed to help transform the quality of life of disabled people in Richmond upon Thames will be online later this year.

By logging on to DisabledGo, people will be able to establish whether buildings have wheelchair access, shops offer home delivery, a cinema a hearing loop, a hotel provides adapted rooms, whether a restaurant welcomes assistance dogs and offers menus in large print or Braille and much more.

The online guide is the result of a partnership between Richmond upon Thames Council, the Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust, Marks and Spencer and DisabledGo, an innovative internet service.

Before launching the new service, all the partners want to gather the views of as many interested groups and individuals as possible to ensure the guide provides exactly what local people want.

That was the aim of a consultation exercise held on Tuesday at York House, Twickenham. Numerous organisations in the borough representing disabled people were invited along to have their say.

Richmond council leader, Cllr Tony Arbour, said: "This is an exciting, innovative way of raising awareness about accessibility in the borough and an excellent example of using the power of technology to improve the quality of life of the borough's residents.

"The website will provide a vast treasure trove of vital information for people with hearing, vision or mobility problems. It will also result in businesses being more inclusive by encouraging them to make their services accessible to many more customers."

The website is due to go live this autumn on www.disabledgo.info