Online technologies and the Internet offer a great deal to young people with disabilities. However, Internet Safety is very important as well. Hayley, Georgina and Julia report.
Pictured: The MET Police (rear), Georgina (front left), Hayley (volunteer AbPhab and Eastside Community Heritage), Julia (Eastside Community Heritage) and Anne-Marie Haxel (Safer Neighbourhood Board Officer, Barking and Dagenham)
This month we addressed the Safer Neighbourhood Board meeting and we talked about disability hate crime and bullying.
Julia told the group that technology was really good for young people because it helped them stay connected with their world. She said technology and IT skills enabled young people to study, work and participate in activities.
Hayley said that technology was important but we must also teach people how to stay safe online and learn how to report bullying. Hayley told the group about our video project. She said our videos are encourage young people to share their knowledge with other young people.
Georgina talked about technology and risk. She said that young people with disabilities need, and want, the same chances in life as young people without disabilities. Georgina said that many parents are worried by online bullying, grooming or stalking so they limit their children from using technology. But Georgina was worried that by limiting their use of the Internet, parents were limiting their children. She said that young people with disabilities need education, training and support so they can use the Internet AND stay safe.
Georgina also said that young people make the best teachers. Young people like to learn from other young people and they share their ideas on places like YouTube or Instagram. She said that many parents and carers could learn from their children and other young people in the community.
Everyone liked our ideas and they clapped at the end of our talk. It was a really wonderful session and we thank the Safer Neighbourhood Board for letting us speak to them.