Many parents and teachers who care for children with disabilities are keenly aware of the potential for bullying in the classroom and take steps to prevent it. However, what about the exclusion and harassment that go unnoticed by teachers and parents?
As young people spend more time online, much of the inappropriate behavior, language, and content they encounter happens beyond the immediate supervision of adults. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare all students for safe online interactions, particularly by addressing the unique risks and challenges that students with disabilities face on the internet. Teachers and parents can improve Snapchat safety for teens with disabilities with the tips listed below.
Table of Contents
#1 Clearly Establish Information That Should Not Be Disclosed
All students should be educated about the types of information that are unsafe to share online, such as their real name, school, phone number, address, and any identifying pictures or details. A “Do Not Share” list should be created and displayed in the classroom as a constant reminder.
#2 Use Here For You for Cyberbullying Prevention for Vulnerable Teens
The mental health feature, Here For You, delivers proactive in-app support to Snapchatters. It assists those who may be facing mental health or emotional crises, as well as those seeking to understand these concerns better and aid friends navigating through them.
#3 Hide Your Real Location
You should not leave your location information publicly available, as cyberbullies can use this information against a child with disabilities. You can hide the location or fake it. There are separate instructions on how to change location on Snapchat on the VeePN website. By simply manipulating IP addresses, you can change your location to any other country or region.
#4 Teach Responsible Online Citizenship
Teach your students about responsible online citizenship and help them recognize and avoid malicious behavior online. Demonstrate appropriate and inappropriate interactions, and teach them strategies to escape and report cyberbullying. Numerous excellent resources are available to help students simulate diverse online scenarios.
#5 Limits on Inappropriate Content
Snapchat’s Community Guidelines forbid illegal and harmful content. Moreover, Snapchat has a zero-tolerance policy for users who engage in such misconduct. Snapchat employs a Strike System to promptly eliminate inappropriate content that they identify or receive reports about. Offenders who persist will face an account ban.
Snapchat Family Centre enables parents to:
- Monitor the recipients of messages, photos, or videos sent by their teens on Snapchat within the past seven days. However, specific conversation details are not revealed.
- Access a comprehensive list of their teens’ current friends.
- Effortlessly track the addition of new friends by their teens, facilitating conversations about these new connections.
- Confidentially report any accounts to Snapchat’s 24/7 Trust and Safety teams for investigation.
- Access crucial information on utilizing Family Centre tools, as well as resources for initiating important conversations and ensuring safe usage of Snapchat.
#6 Building Supportive Online Communities for Disabled Teens
Teenagers will face difficulties when using Snapchat anyway. No matter what protection settings are applied, there will always be those who want to spoil the mood. The value of a support group in such moments is difficult to overestimate. Joint analysis of situations and making plans for the future are things that many teenagers with disabilities lack. It doesn’t have to be a local meeting; you can connect to online communities. But in this case, it is better to use an iOS VPN so that no one can track the club members. This may be an unnecessary precaution, but you will never know what was unnecessary and what significantly reduced the amount of stress in your life.
#7 Snapchat Accessibility Features and Settings
Snapchat doesn’t offer many features to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, but it does have some features. You can turn on subtitles. To add captions to your video Snaps, simply tap the quotation mark icon on the Preview screen after recording. You can also generate captions for voice overs recorded over video Snaps.
You can also adjust the text size. To adjust the text size in Snapchat on iOS:
- Access your device’s Settings and navigate to ‘Control Center’
- Add the ‘Text Size’ option to the Control Center
- Launch Snapchat
- Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center
- Tap the ‘aA’ icon and choose ‘Snapchat Only’
- Select the desired text size that suits you best.
Experts concur that educating children about the risks and responsibilities of online communities is the most effective way to ensure their safety, despite the temptation to completely ban internet use due to threats to children’s safety. Rather than blocking access or employing scare tactics, it is crucial to stay actively involved in children’s lives and assist in their development of the necessary skills to responsibly navigate the online world.