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Educating disabled people
Educating people, especially children and young adults with a disability, has been a passion of mine for a number of years.
A few years ago, I realised there was no Fire Safe Schools program written for children and young people with a disability. So I decided to combine my two passions in life, children and young adults with a disability and CFA to create a school program suited to these people. To do this, I needed to create a program that would be super flexible to suit the individual needs of these students and at the same time be engaging and stimulating for them.
Using my knowledge from working in a Special Developmental School for over seven years, I developed a program and was keen to trial it. After the initial trail which included training a brigade local to the school where I work to assist in the delivery of the program, we revisited the program and modified it further.
In June this year, I took my revised program to the CFA State Forum and presented the concept to approximately 200 people. The response was amazing and I am currently trying to secure more funding to be able to develop my idea further. This would enable the program to be expanded to the wider community with more brigades being trained to deliver the program in their communities.
So far we have had some fantastic results, including having a student of the program calling 000 to raise help when their neighbour’s house caught fire. The students all show excitement and regularly refer positively to their learning from the program.
It is my dream that in the next few years we will be able to expand the delivery of the program further within CFA. In the meantime any brigades or individuals wanting to know more about the program can contact me for further information as I would be happy to assist in any way possible.
Finally, I would like to leave you with a favourite quote of mine that I think sums up disability in general well. “Don’t dis my ability”, in other words, don’t assume that a student or person isn’t capable of learning or doing something just because they are “different” or have a disability. Give them a go, and most of all, have fun with them!