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Using education to reduce risk
Every week, around two Queenslanders will sustain a life-changing traumatic Spinal Cord Injury, with 80% of those injuries experienced by people aged 25 and under. Such an injury profoundly impacts every facet of life, from the physical to the mental, emotional, social, and financial.
We developed the award-winning S.E.A.T program over 30 years ago to educate and support young people to make safe and positive choices for life. In just a one-hour session we’ll cover topics such as:
- Road and water safety
- Dealing with peer pressure
- Making positive lifestyle choices
- Disability awareness
Our program aligns with the national curriculum, is offered at NO cost to schools and is delivered by local community presenters with a spinal cord injury. Drawing on their lived experience our sessions are informative, engaging and real.
What the program covers
The SEAT program for secondary school students covers:
- The anatomy and physiology of the spine
- The effects of a spinal cord injury
- The difference between paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Risk factors for spinal cord and other traumatic injuries
- Safety messages aimed at preventing spinal cord and other serious injuries
- The lifestyle challenges that people with a spinal cord injury face
- The positive inclusion of people with a disability into the community
Year 6: making smart choices
The upper primary program features videos with real life, high risk scenarios. These scenarios, and the resulting discussions, highlight the dangers of peer pressure and focus on key safety messages about the importance of wearing a helmet, checking the water before jumping in, and wearing seat belts, to name a few.
This program also demonstrates how people with paraplegia or quadriplegia do everyday things. Students watch and discuss videos showing how people who use a wheelchair drive a car, go swimming, exercise and more.
Years 4-5: do the right thing
The Year 4 and 5 students learn how to identify hazardous situations and how to respond to unsafe and emergency situations. They discover how the brain and spine work together; the difference between paraplegia and quadriplegia; and how to stay safe when riding a bicycle or swimming.
A fun, interactive game “Ring the Harm Alarm” also helps to reinforce safety messages.
Years prep-3: play by the rules
The students learn which people and things make environments and activities safe. They are also encouraged to think about and demonstrate how to promote personal safety and the safety of others.
Animated characters Ella and Jack lead the way with entertaining games and activities. The Prep-1 variation of the program includes a game of ‘Simon Says’ that helps to explain the function of the spine and spinal cord. Years 2-3 play a safety-themed word game to reinforce key messages
The Department of Transport and Main Roads supports SEAT via a Community Safety Grant. Because road trauma is the cause of almost half of all traumatic spinal cord injuries, road safety is an integral part of what we do.