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Dr Love works his magic

To mark St Valentine's Day, the disabled IT charity AbilityNet will be publishing a survey of the accessibility of online dating sites.

Match making services will be ranked according to how easy it is for love-lorn people to use them.

Special dating services for disabled people are already an established feature of the online dating world. Sites such as Whispers4U, Disability Works and Cupid Calls all cater for romantically inclined web surfers.

Disability Works is one of the latest entrants to a burgeoning market. It will be providing on-line support through Doctor Love – who will be available 24 hours a day to give advice and help to enable members get the best from the dating service and overcome any problems they may have with confidence or shyness.

Users are able to upload images of themselves and enjoy webcam pictures, email messaging and live instant chat with other members, as well as an automated match facility to help them find a partner.

To complement the on-line dating facility, Disability Works also organises a national speed dating event and an annual ball for its members which provides a chance for them to get together and meet in a safe, friendly and relaxed environment.

A Channel 4 documentary featuring a dating and friendship service called Stars in the Skies for adults with learning disabilities, recently won a People of the Year Award from the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR).

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