Scope helping people Be Safe Online

Mother helping psychomotor retardation girl using laptop studying at home

Children and young people with disabilities are about to get a whole lot safer online.

Late last year Scope was a successful recipient of one of nine Australian Online Safety Grants awarded by the eSafety Commissioner. The grant will fund Scope’s ‘Be Safe Online project’, which aims to better equip children and young people with disabilities to protect themselves online.

Kate MacRae, Scope CEO, said this opportunity will fill a critical gap in accessible tools and resources about cybersafety.

“Young people with communication disabilities, cognitive impairment and low literacy levels face higher risks of online abuse, cyberbullying and scams,” Kate said.

“Accessible information and resources (like communication boards) will enable young people to talk about these issues in a way that works for them.”

The ‘Be Safe Online’ project is being implemented by Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre (CIRC) and will be completed by mid-2024.

The project will develop a range of accessible resources designed in collaboration with people with disability, parents, and carers to assist, educate and facilitate conversations with young people about how to safely access digital technologies. The project will build on the current suite of safety resources available. Resources and tools developed will be available in formats that are accessible and easy to understand.

“Providing safe access to digital technologies in our modern world is vital when supporting children and young people with disabilities to live as equal and empowered citizens,” Kate said.

Minister for Communications, the Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, said the not-for-profit sector plays an important role in supporting government to address complex social issues.

“These grants will help unlock each recipient’s unique expertise to create new channels and content addressing specific issues and age groups, helping us to reach more Australians with vital online safety education.”