Being eSafe with blindness and low vision

10 July 2020

Being safe online has always been important, but with the increase in learning and working from home, it’s now more important than ever to make sure everyone has access to resources to help protect themselves in an online environment.

Vision Australia has launched a new eSafety information page aiming to help support people who are blind or have low vision to have safer, more positive experiences online.

The page was spearheaded by Client Reference Group (CRG) member Marilyn Embelton. Marilyn wants to ensure everyone has awareness, skills and resources to help them stay safe online in each and every online interaction.

Marilyn was particularly keen to make sure people understand what eSafety is and why it’s so important.

“Being eSafe and using the great information available on the eSafety site helps us all to effectively protect ourselves and our personal information while we do our jobs, socialise, study, play games and use other aspects of the internet. This is critical as all facets of daily life involve our use of the internet in some form or another,” Marilyn said.

Marilyn has been passionate about eSafety for quite some time. During her work as a counsellor in schools for the past 25 years she saw an ever increasing need for students to stay safe and well-informed online.

“Gradually over time as the internet became an essential part of daily life, it was evident in my job that there were more and more issues arising for students, their parents and staff.

“It was essential that students and their families, including grandparents, not only knew about the potential dangers of using the internet, but how to avoid these dangers and feel confident in fixing issues and getting help,” Marilyn said.

Marilyn now represents the Technology portfolio on the CRG with Paul Hedley. Her experiences in schools have inspired some of her interests in this portfolio.

The Vision Australia eSafety page is designed to provide information to people of all ages who are blind or have low vision. It is there for everybody, not only to help stay safe and well-informed, but also to keep people connected and know they now have a resource at their fingertips to tackle any problems they may face online. 

“For people in the blind and low vision community who are using technology all the time, I would love them to have the choice of a resource like this to inform them, protect them, give them confidence in their own abilities and empower them,” Marilyn said.

“What’s really exciting for me is connecting people who are blind or have low vision, from the youngest to the oldest, individuals and families, carers and professionals with a fantastic resource,” she said.

To find out more about eSafety, visit our dedicated page here.