Innovation for Independence

Internet Safety Portal for People with a Learning Disability, Parents & Carers

Publish date:
16/01/2015 - 10:30am
Last updated:
16/01/2015 - 10:30am

A ‘one stop shop’ online community for people with a learning disability, parents and carers to seek advice, share experiences and improve their skills and knowledge of online safety.The aim will be to provide the platform to create an engaging community to support young people, professionals, parents and carers to expand and develop knowledge of ‘online health and safety’ and support these groups to develop and support safe relationships via the Internet and Social Media. An online portal can provide unique opportunities to learn and share experiences related to the safe and effective use of social media and the Internet. The creation of a portal to allow this would present the opportunity further a national aim to improve Internet safety for a particularly vulnerable group. The development of this solution would give persons with a learning disability, their parents and carers somewhere to seek help when they need support and a place to build their confidence in an area which can be confusing and overwhelming; particularly related to the use of technical language, jargon and the Internet itself which can be overwhelming in its size and content.

Insight & Impact

The emergence of the Internet & Social Media has provided new opportunities for the world to communicate as part of a wider online community. For people with learning dis-abilities these tools provide a similar experience; the chance to take part in a wider social network free from stigma through anonymity. The rise of social media is set to further influence the lives of people with learning disabilities in coming years. It is important that this is a positive and fulfilling experience. This positive experience can be aided through a safe environment for people to discuss Internet safety experiences/issues free from prejudice, removing difficult so-cial/communication barriers to become an outlet for those seeking help; a safe zone for those seeking advice or discussion about issues they are facing online. Many people feel more comfortable talking anonymously online, particularly when talking about a serious issue (cyberbullying, sexual harassment, online meetings etc). The portal can also act as an outlet for hard to reach users, a place for people who access the Internet and Social Media to engage in the topic of safety. Professionals are raising the issue that many of the people coming into difficulty online with are not engaging with ser-vices, having a place to guide these users towards provides the unique opportunity to re-engage with isolated individuals.

Skills needed for this project

  • Support with developing the business value and commercial opportunities