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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 14:54 GMT
Brothel offers easy access for disabled

Bang to rights: Wheelchair ramp
An Australian brothel has installed a wheelchair ramp and other facilities for handicapped people.

The Pink Palace in Melbourne is thought to be the first in the country to carry out such modifications and campaigners for the disabled hope others will follow suit.

The new features also include enlarged doors to accommodate wheelchairs and installed a sit-down shower.

George Taleporos, a researcher into sexuality and disability, said many disabled people used prostitutes and brothels because it is difficult to date in the usual way.

"It's harder for people with disabilities to actually meet people and go to nightclubs, and do all the things that people normally do," he said.

Privacy

Mr Taleporos, who is himself confined to a wheelchair, said the modifications would mean handicapped people could visit the brothel alone without a carer.

"The thing about having independent access to a facility like this is that the experience can be more private and personal, and fewer people need to know about what you are doing," he said.

Disability Rights Victoria, an agency that helps the handicapped in Victoria state, said it hoped more brothels would follow suit.

One prostitute at the Pink Palace said catering to the needs of the handicapped would help boost the brothel's profile.

"I think it's very important these days in this industry that we're able to help people who do have special needs," she added.

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See also:

30 Sep 00 | Europe
Dutch OK sex for sale
14 Mar 00 | South Asia
Bangladesh says prostitution legal
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