Police initiative helps Australians living with a cognitive disability stay safe online

Australians living with a cognitive disability now have greater access to online safety education, with an accessible easy-read guide launched today by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Li-Ve Tasmania, incorporating Tasmanian Acquired Brain Injury Services (TABIS).

AFP Manager Hobart Office, Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle, said the easy-read guide – developed by the agency’s ThinkUKnow online safety program – will give more of the community access to important online safety information.

“All Australians should have access to ThinkUKnow’s practical tools and resources to help them stay safe both online and offline,” Sergeant Hardcastle said.

“While a record number of young people attended ThinkUKnow’s online safety presentations in 2017-18, including more than 200,000 students across metropolitan and regional Australia, we need to continue to reach more people in different ways.

“This easy-read guide gives Australians living with a cognitive disability a greater understanding on how to navigate online challenges, from online grooming and sexting to cyberbullying and cybercrime.”

TABIS Project Manager, Anna Holliday said the not-for-profit agency was eager to share the resource throughout Tasmania and beyond, highlighting the immediate community benefits. 

“This is a plain-English, engaging and practical guide that young Australians living with a disability will be able to readily-apply in their everyday lives,” Anna Holliday said.

“The initiative is about giving young people the tools to protect themselves from harm, and making sure they know what to do if something goes wrong.”

The easy-read guide – which can be downloaded here – will be launched in Hobart today at a Q & A session with TABIS clients about the resource and how it will help their fellow Australians stay safe online.

Tasmania Police Senior Constable Simon Jones said that the new easy-read guide would help its volunteer trainers continue to support the Tasmanian community.

“In FY18, Tasmanian Police ThinkUKnow volunteers delivered 156 presentations in our state alone,” Senior Constable Jones said. “This is almost double the amount of presentations delivered in the previous year, meaning that many more Tasmanians know about the dangers posed by the online world and how to navigate them.

“This easy-read guide adds to the toolbox that our trainers can draw from, ensuring that we can better engage and educate Tasmanians living with a cognitive disability.

“Further, we hope that it serves as a resource for every parent, teacher or carer who wants to know more about online safety and how they better engage with their children or students on this matter.”

ThinkUKnow is the Australian Federal Police's (AFP) online safety program. Established in 2009, ThinkUKnow is a nationally-delivered online safely program led by law-enforcement and industry partners.

TABIS, a division of Li-Ve Tasmania, is a non-for-profit agency dedicated to making sure people living with an acquired brain injury have access to responsive and innovative support options. It promotes community access and fosters successful long-term participation and reintegration.

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

Li-Ve Tasmania (TABIS) Media: Jennifer McKenzie (Marketing and Communications Manager) 0447 000 311 or [email protected]

Tasmania Police Media: (03) 6173 2424

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