A new survey is being carried out in Dorchester to produce an accessibility guide to entice more people with disabilities to visit the town.

The Dorchester Access Group (DAG), supported by the Dorchester Chamber for Business and the Business Improvement District, is embarking on a town-wide survey to map how accessible businesses are and highlight how much more business are able to offer customers than they are aware of.

A study shows 54% of people with access requirements avoid going to new places if they cannot find information about accessibility, and 63% of firms do not promote accessibility facilities – meaning a lot of potential business is being missed.

DAG aims to change this for Dorchester by sending out a simple online questionnaire for business and leisure venues to complete.

“As a wheelchair user, I have to research places carefully before I visit them to make sure there is sufficient access to shops to make my visit worthwhile,” said DAG member Nick Power.

“Most of the time such information is not available, so I end up going somewhere else. Even within my home town of Dorchester I am still finding some shops which I thought were inaccessible to me have a hidden accessible entrance.

“A directory containing this information will not only help the disabled, but also attract new customers for these businesses and the town in general.”

If you want to be part of the guide but have not received an email, please contact Emma Scott at Dorchester Town Council, either by popping into the office or emailing e.scott@dorchester-tc.gov.uk.

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