John struggles to engage with people because of his background and disability. He was referred to SECCA for help with setting boundaries and developing skills to build healthy relationships.
Providing online access for your loved one may be daunting.
The internet can be a source or entertainment, connection, and education for everyone. For people with disabilities it can support gradual relationships development and unique learning experiences.
Things to consider
Here are some things to consider when you are supporting someone with a disability to be safe online:
- Is your home internet set up for safe internet use? Consider antivirus software, firewalls, and a modem, software, or Internet Provider that provides parental controls. This will allow you to block inappropriate sites.
- Are you comfortable with providing one-on-one support to help your loved one develop their online skills?
- Does your loved one need some one-on-one coaching sessions for practice and feedback?
- Do you have relatives or friends you can enlist to be online communication partners to support practice and feedback?
- Do you need software to support speech-to-text or text-to-speech?
- Do you need some visual cues around the screen to support online use?
- Do you have ‘house rules’ set up around internet use such as time allowed, sites permitted or not permitted, behaviours that are not permitted online, the types of YouTube clips that can and can’t be watched.
- Does your loved one know how to take screen shots on devices used at home to show you anything they are not sure of?
- Does your loved one know what sorts of warning signs to look out for to reduce risks online e.g. unknown people asking for private information?
Here are other sites offering information to support families:
- Special Needs and Internet Safety
- 4 Ways to Set Up Parental Controls on Your Home Network
- eSafety Information from the Australian Government
- Think You Know
- Commonsense Media
- Safe Surfing
- Dealing with Danger
- Dealing with Danger Cards