CFA is committed to being disability inclusive, and our members are well on their way in building their disability confidence.
International Day of People with Disability, celebrated every year on 3 December, is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on CFA members' achievements around disability inclusion.
CFA is excited to announce the upcoming launch of a new e-Learning module in LMS - ‘Disability Confident Managers’, developed by the Australian Network on Disability (AND). Available to all members - especially those who are in people manager roles, such as captains, BMT members, team managers, HR business partners, etc - the module contains three sections, each taking around 20 minutes to complete, covering:
- Understanding disability
- Communication and key concepts
- Creating enabling environments for your team
While presented in the context of a workplace, the underpinning principles can also be applied in a brigade setting.
Building the capability of our people leaders is an integral part in creating a disability inclusive environment. It influences how we recruit, onboard, induct, support and retain members with disability. They lead our shared responsibility in creating a great place to volunteer and work.
Since being launched in June 2020, 116 members have completed the Disability Inclusion online learning module available on the Learning Hub, with many more enrolled or in the process of completion.
Participation has been from a broad cross section of volunteers and staff, in operational and non-operational roles and from locations all across the State. Lessons learned from this module can easily be applied in the various activities across CFA - whether it is how we interact and engage with people with disability when responding to fires and other emergencies, or community safety messaging and engagement, through to creating a safe and inclusive space for new members to our organisation.
I think the program is awesome and should be mandatory, for firefighters to have a better understanding of people within the community that may have a disability
This program was extremely beneficial and has given me so much more to think about people in the workforce with disabilities - especially ones that aren't visible
*Testimonials are from members who have completed the Disability Inclusion online learning module
Over the past 12 months, we’ve shone a light on the contribution and achievements of CFA members with disability and their supporters:
The Youth Engagement Working Group launched the initial Junior Disability Inclusion Guide - to support Junior Brigades create an inclusive environment for young people with disability. The guide incorporates insights from Junior Leaders with experience creating disability inclusive junior programs to help break down the stigma.
Supported by Gordon Brigade Captain Diane Lawson and CFA’s Community Engagement Team, Federation University students developed the S.P.A.R.K (Supporting People with Autism Resource Kit) resource. It is a downloadable resource that teachers can individualise for students with autism, to help them understand what to do during an emergency evacuation at their school
CFA’s Preparing Vulnerable People (PVP) project has launched an online learning module: Bushfire Planning: How to support your clients. The training module has been developed for those working with people who are at greater risk due to disability, age or social isolation, including case managers, support workers and home nursing staff. Concepts and key learnings from the module are also beneficial for CFA members interacting with people with disability in the community - especially around community safety and preparedness.
The Inclusion and Fairness team is keen to hear how our people are creating a disability inclusive CFA. Contact the Inclusion and Fairness team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your initiatives.