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Tizard Research Projects

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Safer Online Lives

Use of the Internet & Social Media by People with Intellectual Disabilities

About the project

A computerThe internet and social media have become a big part of many people’s lives.

 

But we don’t know much about how people with intellectual disabilities use the internet and social media.

 

We want to hear from adults with intellectual disabilities in the UK, and the people who support them, about the positive aspects and opportunities people with intellectual disabilities have when using the internet. We also want to find out the negative aspects and barriers people might come across when using the internet.

We will do this in 3 steps:

Two people holding a book

  1. We will ask adults with intellectual disabilities to fill out a questionnaire about using the internet. We will ask family carers, safeguarding, and support staff to answer some questions on helping people with intellectual disabilities with using the internet
  2. We will invite adults with intellectual disabilities to talk about their online experiences in more detail. We will also hear from carers and staff on how they support people with intellectual disabilities with being online
  3. With permission, we will sit with people with intellectual disabilities and see how they use the internet and the safety steps they take.

We will also be working with Kent’s School of Computing to develop a mobile app. 

We want the app to help us better understand the opportunities and risks people with intellectual disabilities come across when online.

Watch our short, introductory video

Watch an introduction to the Safer Online Lives project by Dr Vivi Triantafyllopoulou:

Who is involved

A group of people

Project team

Dr Paraskevi (Vivi) Triantafyllopoulou (PI)

Professor Michelle McCarthy

Professor Shujun Li

Jessie Newsome

Pak Chiu

Project funder

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School of Social Care Research

Working with service users

A group of people sharing ideas

The study is working with two advisory groups:

The Research Advisory Group is a group of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They have helped us with the design of the project. They will help us throughout the study.

The other advisory group is a group of staff and organisations that support people with intellectual disabilities. This includes paid and unpaid carers. As well as police, social workers, psychologists and more. They will help us throughout the study.

Please note: This report is independent research by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR SSCR, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

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Contact us

Get in touch with Dr Paraskevi Triantafyllopoulou:

Or contact the Safer Online Lives Research Team: