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Sensi: Report on the Online Behavior of Children and Youth with Sensory Impairments

Sensi: Report on the Online Behavior of Children and Youth with Sensory Impairments

The Sense International Romania Foundation aims to study the behavior of children and young people with sensory impairments in the online environment, in order to understand the impact of the use of social media, especially in the online protection and safety segment.

According to a study  developed in 2019 by Save the Children, 96% of children access the Internet using a smartphone and an equally high percentage, use at least one social platform to keep in touch with friends, entertainment or to have access to various information related to school or other hobbies.

The Sensi research conducted between February and March 2021 included a quantitative part aimed at distributing a questionnaire to young people and children with sensory impairments and deafblindness, a questionnaire that could be completed online, but also a qualitative part by discussing issues related to online protection and safety with a small group of young people.

About the project

Sensi - Online Safety for Children with Sensory Impairment is a project that aims to provide children and young people with sensory impairments and deafblindness with the tools, knowledge and confidence needed to reduce the risk of abuse online: cyberbullying, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, via animated clips.

Sensi, the main character of the videos, will be the star of a few animated short films that will help them protect themselves against potential online abuse.

The project is carried out at national level, with the support of 18 special schools from Arad, Bucharest, Buzau, Cluj Napoca, Craiova, Focșani, Galaţi, Iași, Oradea, Sibiu and Timișoara.

An important component of the project is an online research aimed at analyzing the behavior of children with sensory impairments in the online environment. With the support of teachers and school directors, data on the witch type of internet access the children have and their usual online behavior, what websites they use and why, what type of social media they use and why, will be included in the research.

The purpose of this activity is to have a comprehensive picture of the existing situation, and the results obtained are found in this research report, which will be used for the development of project materials.


Long-term positive impact

  • Promoting and awareness of the risks that exist in the online environment and the ways in which these risks can be avoided or diminished.
  • Improving the quality of life for these children, which will allow them to lead an autonomous life and enjoy social integration without risks of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Having a current picture on the situation of children with sensory impairments in Romania with the help of the questionnaire applied online, useful research for future projects.

The project takes place between January and December 2021 and it's funded by The Orange Foundation through the World through Color and Sound 2020 Program. Its total value is 104,721 lei, the contribution of the Orange Foundation being 91,886 lei.