Skype road-test

Skype is a helpful tool for young people. Skype connects friends and family. Skype helps people share ideas, study and learn. But there are drawbacks as well. Broadband is expensive for people on a low income and many young people are very worried about bullying and cyber-safety. 

In this post, the inclusive group AbPhab gives Skype a road test. 

By Shannon, Hayley, Andre, Shane, Kim, Julia and Stephen. 


1.Skype

IMG_6612

This evening we talked about Skype.

website

Skype allows you to talk to and see another person in a different place  – they may be in another room, house, borough or country.

2. Researching Skype in our group

Only two people in our group had used Skype.

Some of us had heard about Skype but didn’t know how it worked or how it could be used.

Most young people did not feel confident about using Skype and they felt worried about their online safety.

contacts

3. Using Skype

Our group practised using Skype.

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We spoke to Mandie who lives in the Borough of Hackney.  We were in Dagenham. We had lots of fun getting to know her. We asked her about her pets and her job. We all had a laugh.

Afterwards we talked about Skype and its usefulness for people with disabilities.

4. Is Skype useful?

yes-or-no

There are lots of good things about Skype.

yes

Skype helps people stay in touch with friends and family.

yes

It’s fun to see and hear people and watch their body language.

yes

There are some parts of Skype that worried us.

no 

Some people felt nervous about a bad person or a stranger contacting them.

no

 Some people felt scared of bullies hurting them or finding out about about their personal details.

no

It’s difficult to work out which contacts or people are safe and trustworthy.

no

Skype is free to use but you need a computer, smart phone or tablet and Internet connection for it to work.  Many people with a disability live on very low incomes and they can’t afford this.

5. Verdict?

We gave it a thumbs up.

like

We had a fun night road testing Skype.

We want to look more at Skype and video conferencing tools but we want to keep safe as well. Safety is a BIG concern for our group.

6. Recommendation

IMG_6607

We recommend that people explore Skype to see if it is helpful to them. It may be very helpful for people who feel lonely.

In 2012, Mencap published a report called “Stuck at home: the impact of day service cuts on people with a learning disability”  This report said that many young people with a learning disability spent a lot of time at home because of government cut backs.  They may feel lonely and isolated.

Skype may be a useful tool for young people so they can stay connected with friends and family.  BUT users of Skype must know about safe behaviour and what to do if things go wrong as well.

Thank you to easy on the i for many of the graphics on this post.

THANKS-TO-easy-on-the-eye (1)

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