Hi, welcome to Internet Safety for Kids and thank you for joining our program!
As always with our program Internet Safety for Kids, please make sure to watch this episode together when possible, so you all learn and understand these important topics. Don’t allow the adults to say that they already know everything because there will be plenty to learn for them, too!
Today’s topic is a very serious one. Kids with disabilities and the internet. We really hope that we can encourage smart kids with and without disabilities to watch this episode and learn how we can make sure that the internet is a great place for all of us. Let us start with some facts. There are more than 2 billion children in the world and 150 million children have a disability. So, that means for every 100 children, almost 8 children have some form of disability. And those children also want to use the internet to learn and have fun. We do not have all the answers how we can make that happen, but we do have some tips how we can get along together on the internet. That is what we will discuss today.
We will explain why is it important, what does it mean, and what should you do. Are you with us?
There are many forms of disabilities, and you can not always see it, either. Some disabilities can be compensated by other abilities. Like for example Braille for blind people. That is a special way of printing text, and a lot of blind people learn how to read Braille with the tips of their fingers. That is really amazing how they can replace the sense of sight with the sense of touch to be able to read. And there is for example sign language, where deaf people are able to communicate by using their hands to form words, and of course also read those words. Or lipreading, where people can read what you say by looking at the shape of your mouth while you speak. Pretty cool, right?
Unfortunately, we can not compensate all disabilities with another ability, but we can use technology in many cases. That can be a wheelchair, and we are now able to make very advanced wheelchairs. Or special glasses, hearing aids, and much more. There is so much we can do, and we keep getting better. It is also important that we make sure that children with disabilities are a respected member of our society and are able to learn and grow. And the internet, and all the apps and platforms of the internet are playing a very important role in that!
Theoretically, the internet can help children with disabilities a lot but unfortunately, not all platforms are made accessible for everyone so everyone, including children with disabilities can use them. That is something we really must work on and there are a few things you can do to help. When you find an app or platform with very good accessibility, or that supports you or someone in your family with a disability, you can write a positive review mentioning that. When you share in your review how this is supporting children with disabilities, it will help others to find it when they search for accessibilities.
On the other hand, there are still many apps and platforms that do not support children with disabilities. When you or someone in your family needs accessibility support and an app or platform does not provide that, you can also write a review in which you mention that it lacks accessibility support. There is no need to make it a negative review. Just mention that it lacks support. This will help other children by letting them know your experience. And hopefully it will also make the developers aware that they have important work to do!
Another aspect where we can all really support our community of children with disabilities, and of course also their parents, families, and friends, is with our behavior. Children with disabilities have talents and skills. They might be different talents and skills, but they are important talent and skills. Children with disabilities also have feelings, just like everybody else does. So, the first thing we should all do is to learn to appreciate each other’s talents and skills, and make sure that we do not hurt each other’s feelings.
When we have a look at everyone’s abilities, we will discover that we all have different abilities. Some are very good at something, and others are very good at something else. Let us all treat each other with respect in our daily lives and on the internet. Here are some tips we discussed today.
- Treat each other with respect. Being kind is always the best thing you can do.
- When you find an APP with good accessibility that helps you or someone in your family, please write a review so other people with disabilities can find it.
- When you find an APP with bad accessibility that does not help you or someone in your family, please write a review so other people with disabilities are informed and maybe the developers will solve it.
- Children with disabilities have the same right to be treated with respect as anyone else. That includes the internet and that also includes their right to privacy!