Section 7 – Being Safe

Safety is one of the biggest hurdles for people with disabilities who want to live independently. Safety is a big issue because most people want to live entirely on their own or at least with less help. Having someone look over your new home and think about any hazards or safety issues they see before you move in is a good idea. You can’t fix them if you don’t know about them!

Women with brown hair and wearing a blue dress, smiling holding key

Safety can include many different things, like being safe from burglars, fires, or storms. It can also mean not being taken advantage of or having your identity stolen. Calling 9-1-1 all the time would cause problems. You certainly want to call them when you need them, but it’s not their job to come out every time you are worried something may be wrong.  You will need the skills to know when you have a valid safety concern where you should call 9-1-1.

Being safe is often about paying attention to what you are doing and who is around you. Most safety concerns can be erased if you think ahead. For example, when you come home you should lock your door first thing. If you don’t plan on going out again, you may forget to lock it later. Plus, anyone can walk into your home when your door is unlocked. After the sun sets, it’s also a good idea to close your curtains or blinds. This way anyone walking by cannot see into your home.

If you are cooking, your mind should be on cooking. Don’t go into another room to watch a little TV. What happens if you forget? Something may burn – but you could also start a fire.

Thanks to tech, it’s easier than ever to be safe. But in many ways, you are more exposed than ever. Sadly, there are people that spend their entire day on the internet trying to find easy victims to steal from or harm in other ways.

It’s hard for some people to remember with whom they can share what information. You may have been taught not to give anyone your social security number or address over the phone. But then you need to make a doctor’s appointment and these are things they may ask. You need to work with your family to set basic rules on who can have what info.

Some families act out different things that could happen when you give out the wrong info. This might help you remember who you can and who you shouldn’t give info to. This could be a fun and easy way to know what could happen when you give personal information to the wrong person.

You need to be able to show your family that you know how to be safe. If you can’t, living on your own will be very stressful for you and your family. The last thing you want to do is move out and have your family and friends worry about you all the time.


Updated 8/9/2023