Be Smart and Safe Online – a resource for deaf young people

This is the first of a serious of blogs for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They intend to bring to your attention the increasing range of resources available to keep your child safer online.

This blog features a new resource for deaf young people, aged 11-16, by The National Deaf Children’s Society, produced in collaboration with  Childnet International.

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Research shows that deaf young people can be more at risk of cyberbullying as they may misinterpret online posts or they may not understand the subtleties of online etiquette

It contains 3 practical lesson plans on the topics of sexting – nude selfies, safe social networking and cyberbullying. These lesson plans were designed with deaf young people in mind, to address their potential gaps in knowledge about internet safety. It also has an information flyer for young people, as well as information for concerned parents.

Deaf young people can often miss out on receiving key e-safety advice, such as informal learning with their peers in the playground chatting about the internet, but also, many deaf young people have low literacy levels making installing privacy settings confusing.

It’s not uncommon for deaf young people to be taken out of important PSHE classes in order to get additional help in other subjects, which results in them lacking in key e-safety knowledge..

The activities aim to get young deaf people talking about their internet use in a positive way, but also to educate them on the potential risks that can occur, such as sexting and cyberbullying. In the different lesson plans, they will look at different social media posts and assess if the post was ‘banter’ or if it could be construed as bullying.

Most importantly, the lesson plans guide the teacher to ensure deaf young people know what they need to do to be safe online, such as where to go for help and how to install privacy settings.

So, it may be worth checking that your child’s school is aware of this resource.


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