Looking out for the blind and low vision in Community Safety

A message from Lucy Saaroni, Executive Manager Community Safety


Fiona Macken from CFA's Diamond Creek Fire Brigade joined Vision Australia Radio staff to discuss bushfire safety

CFA has collaborated with Vision Australia to get relevant fire safety information to the 26,000 Vision Australia clients across the country who are blind or have low vision.

People who are blind or who have low vision may be at a higher risk of fire - not only due to their physical disability, but also due to their social isolation. Vision Australia is a community-focused organisation with unique and substantial reach to groups at particular risk of fire across Victoria. CFA is humbled to be able to leverage off Vision Australia’s connections, to support blind and low vision people in preventing and preparing for fire.

CFA’s Community Engagement team have worked on a series of activities collaboratively with Vision Australia to ensure the safety programs, services and messages are inclusive and accessible.

A three-part CFA podcast series about fire safety was released to Vision Australia Radio on 6 May this year, with the potential to reach 300,000 people across Victoria - with at least 49,000 of these regionally based. The number of people accessing podcasts has grown by 50 per cent since 2014, and the medium has become a well-accepted communications tool.  

Jim Read from Scoresby Fire Brigade discussed fire safety for a podcast in studio.

Two of the podcasts focus on bushfire safety and one on home fire safety; in combination, they weave together a narrative about fire safety that's aimed to inspire fire prevention and preparedness action and conversations within a family.

As part of the collaboration, CFA will take part in the bi-annual Telelink special program twice a year, which delivers four one-hour sessions over four weeks. This is a telephone conferencing service, where a facilitator speaks and Vision Australia can ask questions about fire safety.

Additionally, there will be education sessions for clients in most large regional offices, as well as personal development sessions for trainers and staff. Audio CDs will also be made available at Vision Australia offices.

The CFA Community Engagement team is committed to improving access and inclusion of our programs and services to all people in the community. The Vision Australia collaboration is one example of how we can work together to reach those in the community considered more vulnerable to fire and co-develop products that are accessible to their clients. 

Listen on our audio and podcasts page on the CFA intranet: https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/abo...

Author: Daisy Cleland