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Animations to help young people with learning disabilities stay safe online

Young people with learning disabilities are to learn about staying safe online with a series of videos created by animations students from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art & Design.

Cartoon animation of text messages
The simple animations warn young people not to share personal details online

The short animations, which explore the difficulties of identifying a true friend, were produced as part of a Nottingham Mencap’s Smile! Stop Hate Crime scheme and will be used by the service and its partners.

They tackle issues such as receiving unwanted and abusive messages and being asked for photos, personal details and money, as well as giving advice on how to block messages and report activity to support workers.

The creations were premiered at a special event for Learning Disability Awareness Week, attended by Mencap service users and representatives from Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council, as well as the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping.

Karen Aspley, Smile! Stop Hate Crime Coordinator, said: “Disability Hate Crime is under reported, not only in Nottinghamshire, but across the country. We wanted these videos to highlight the difficulties people with learning disabilities face in recognising and reporting hate crime.

“The animations produced by the students met our brief perfectly and their videos will have a real application in the real world.”

Dr Loretta Trickett, associate professor at Nottingham Law School, has been working with Mencap for several years to research and tackle disability hate crime, particularly that which takes place online.

She said: “This work is really important. Disabled people can be disproportionally affected by online abuse because they are often viewed as an “easy target” and are more likely to be socially isolated by a wide range of people with and without learning disabilities.

“Getting our students involved through animation is a novel way to raise awareness of this social problem amongst the general population, including young people in schools and colleges in the UK.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Published on 19 June 2019
  • Category: Current students; Press office; School of Art & Design; Nottingham Law School