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Publisher launches Web site for disabled

Coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons, magazine publisher We Media launches a Web site with tools for people with disabilities.

Coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons, magazine publisher We Media today launched a Web site with tools for people with disabilities.

The site, Wemedia.com, hopes to give home-bound disabled people the ability to purchase goods and perform daily tasks online.

"We Media's goal is to empower people with disabilities, their families and friends by providing both mobility and access to the services this population has long been denied," Cary Fields, We Media's chief executive, said in a statement.

The company's motives aren't entirely altruistic. According to Fields, the disabled represent a $1 trillion-a-year consumer market.

We Media's Web site is another example of a Web business targeting a specific demographic or interest group. Increasingly, these "affinity portals," as they are known in the industry, are luring users as well as advertisers away from larger, more general Web sites such as Yahoo, Excite, Lycos and Go.com.

Affinity portals hope to attract users interested in specific topics with deeper content and the ability to communicate with other interested users. An influx of targeted traffic also gets the attention of advertisers who specialize in a site's focus.

We Media will primarily feature information for disabled people to find services and products. The site will include sections focusing on employment services, education, sports coverage, Web broadcasting, community and real estate.