The CFA Youth Programs Team has launched a new Disability Inclusion Guide for Junior brigades across the state.
The Youth Programs team and Child Safety team had received a significant number of enquiries from Junior leaders and brigades about how best to include young people with disabilities in CFA.
A work group was established within the Youth Engagement Working Group to develop a guide that would help Junior brigades understand disability better and support members to include young people with disabilities.
Over the past six months the team consulted with subject matter experts and developed a Disability Inclusion Guide that provides brigades with initial guidance, advice and links to resources to build their knowledge.
The guide is currently in two sections:
1. Introduction to Disability, which aims to set the foundations for disability inclusion in brigades
2. Autism, a supporting section looking specifically at autism, its characteristics, links to relative agencies and tips on how to include a young person with autism into the junior brigade.
Gordon Fire Brigade Captain and Junior Leader, Diane Lawson said the guide was a great step forward.
“This guide really gets you thinking,” Diane said. “It will expand your problem-solving skills and you will look further afield for solutions rather than just relying on what you did before. It personalises the limitations that society tends to impose upon people with a disability.”
Volunteer Programs Leader (Youth), Jen Clement said the guide is important for the progression of Junior brigades.
“Disability inclusion is so important for all of us.
“When youth with disabilities can fully participate alongside peers without disabilities, they have an opportunity to gain skills and experiences, demonstrate their capabilities and change attitudes.”
Over the next 12 months this group will continue to develop and publish additional sections focusing on other disabilities. These new sections will be led by feedback from Junior leaders and others working in this space.