It is important you are sensible, alert and protect yourself against risks both online and out and about.
Online, you must be careful who your friends are. For example, just because someone asks to be your friend on social media does not mean you should let them. You must only be friends with people you know and trust. Online, you must consider privacy and the sorts of information you share. Social media is very public.
You must never share personal information like:
Bank account details, for example your pin, name of your bank,
Passwords for anything.
Do not tell people personal details about you, like where you live, your date of birth.
If you are not sure if you should share a piece of personal information - don't!
Be aware. Just because someone is 'friends' with you online, this alone does not mean they are 'friends'. Friendships take lots of time to develop and online is not a true reflection of life and day-to day-reality.
Be very careful with the pictures you share - think, would I want an employer or a professional like your teacher or doctor to see them? If they are online, you loose control of them and anyone could use or see them. Think, is the image appropriate? Is it sensible? Is it embarrassing? Are there other people in the photo who may not want their photo online?
Tell people you trust, like family, if anything upsets you. If people upset you online do not be friends with them. Make sure you understand how to block people and how to set privacy settings. Get someone to show you and ask if you are stuck. There is help from the resources on this page. Also, report any inappropriate or offensive content. Ask someone if you do not know how to.
Another issue you may experience due to your disability is 'bullying'. Lots of people experience bullying, like at school, and it can be due to many different factors. If bullying is due to your disability, then it is often referred to as a Disability Hate Crime. Bullying can be very upsetting and isolating. On here, you will find resources to help you deal with bullying. Do not suffer in silence, get help.
In terms of general safety, when going out, always let someone you trust know where you are going. Always take a phone and some money. Plan what you will be doing, like, know the bus times. Tell someone you trust who you are meeting and when you will be back. Do not agree to meet people you do not know. If you have any problems, ask for help, like, from a professional e.g a policeman or a public place, like, ask the Librarian at the library and look out for the Safer Places stickers in the community which are safe places you can ask for help. Do not be out alone when it is late or dark. Also, do not tell people you do not know well when you will, for example, be on holiday or out.
BBC Learn English. Stay Safe Online Video. https://youtu.be/EyQeUwqCDWg
Mencap. Staying Safe resources. https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/bullying/stay-safe
Beyond Bullying is a good site for resources to help those with disabilities who are experiencing bullying due to disabilities/SEN. The site includes a range of Easy Read keep safe information about bullying and about different aspects of online safety, cyber bullying and advice to keep safe. It also includes more detailed information to help young people with disabilities who experience bullying due to being deaf. http://www.beyondbullying.com/sen-and-disability.html
Mencap have an Anti Bullying Campaign called Don’t Stick it, Stop it! They have a website with information about bullying, including information on workplace bullying and cyber bullying. The site is aimed at those with learning disabilities and difficulties of all ages who may experience being bullied. http://www.dontstickit.org.uk
True Vision Disability Hate Crime Reporting Book, Easy Read. This explains disability hate crime and what to do about it. http://www.bild.org.uk/_resources/assets/attachment/full/0/3918.pd
United Response have an Easy Read booklet on What to do if you Feel Bullied. https://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=2e730aae-cb3b-4ba0-a52f-b54e356dfe6c
United Response have an Easy Read Reporting Disability Hate Crime, so you can more easily explain what happened if you have learning difficulties. For example, if you feel you have experienced Disability Hate Crime/felt bullied due to your disability or special needs. https://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=884a6b86-ed82-4559-9ec9-4cbb712bcf68
Safe in the Home, Devon and Cornwell Police and Plymouth City Council Safeguarding Adults and Plymouth People First Self Advocacy created a video to promote safety in the home, especially for adults who are vulnerable or have learning difficulties.
Staying Safe Online from The Mental Health Foundation. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/staying-safe-online.pdf
Keeping Safe Online Guide for people with Learning disabilities from Change People. http://www.changepeople.org/Change/media/Change-Media-Library/Blog%20Media/Keeping-Safe-Online-Easy-Read-Guide-Small-File-Size.pdf
Keeping Safe Information from BIlD. http://www.bild.org.uk/resources/easy-read-information/keeping-safe-easy-read-information
Trading Standards (Kent). Easy Read Comprehensions for Life Skills, covering lots of consumer issues that are very useful for independent adult life at E3 Level. It includes shopping rights, social media, fire safety, scams, crime, labels and more. https://www.kent.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/consumer-protection/trading-standards-free-life-skills-resources
Safeguarding. Easy Read Comprehensive, yet Simple leaflets from Newham Council, on topics that include adult abuse, hate crime, keeping safe at home and out and about, keeping safe on transport, and more, from the Metropolitan Police. https://adultsocialcare.newham.gov.uk/Pages/Easy-Read-Leaflets.aspx
Change People, Keeping Safe. Easy Read. https://www.changepeople.org/Change/media/Change-Media-Library/Blog%20Media/Keeping-Safe-Online-Easy-Read-Guide-Small-File-Size.pdf
Safety Net have produced an Easy Read resource about Disability Hate Crime and Hate Crime, to help those people with learning difficulties be aware of the dangers, able to spot the signs and help them. https://arcuk.org.uk/safetynet/friend-or-fake-easy-read-booklet
The Safe Places Scheme is intended to provide reassurance to people with Autism or Learning Disability or other vulnerabilities, that should they find themselves in a difficult situation and feel at risk, these organisations in the community, for example, shops displaying the logo are places people with Autism or Learning Difficulties can go to find help and support. https://www.safeplaces.org.uk/ https://youtu.be/kd4yliX6hOU
What to expect if you have to call 999 because of an Emergency and what they will need. A video from the London Ambulance Service. You should only call 999 in an Emergency, such as a life-threatening situation. At other times, use other help, like 111 or your GP, or visit A and E.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance have produced a general a 999 Emergency Operator Role Play. https://www.hiowaa.org/skyheroes56/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/999-roleplay.pdf
Here is a video from the Brandon Trust
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