Social Media and People with Intellectual Disabilities

Adrian Noonan discusses Social Media, with a little good advice for all potential users…

Adrain Noonan
Adrian Noonan discusses how social media has changed his life.
Services use social media pages to keep their members informed of what they’re up to.
There is a bad side to social media and you must stay safe and never give your personal details like phone number out to people online.

twitter logoSocial media for people with intellectual disabilities is good & bad.  It keeps people with intellectual disabilities in touch with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and keeps people with intellectual disabilities up with news that concerns them – it gives them news on their sports teams they follow.

A lot of people with intellectual disabilities are very up with and aware of social media.  They help their friends on how to work social media pages, post pictures of themselves on what they love to do, and chat to friends online and family who live somewhere else in your town or another part of Ireland, or in a different country.  They make new friends online, or just keep up with the news.

If they are members of self-advocacy groups or clubs, and if these groups have social media pages, they would be on Facebook & Twitter mostly.

Disability self-advocacy groups like the National Platform of Self-Advocates and Seasamh would use their social media pages to keep their members informed of what they’re up to and issues affecting them.

2 - Adrian Noonan - Social Media - screen pic 1

There is a bad side to social media as well – people pretending to be some else, and online bullying. When you are online you have to be safe.

If you don’t know the person who is trying to make you a friend, don’t accept them unless you know them.  If they keep asking you to make them a friend, report and block them – the same with bullies, report and block them.

Don’t give your phone number out also, unless you’re really sure.  If you’re unsure who they are, your support workers or your family will help you – don’t be afraid to ask.

All in all, social media has opened up the world to people with intellectual disabilities.

Adrian Noonan is PRO of  The National Platform of Self-Advocates, the self-advocacy committee of Inclusion Ireland, and Seasamh, the Kilkenny-based self-advocacy group.


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