NFPA's involvement

Published on November 7, 2012

Disabilities Task Force

  • Linda Woodbury (Chair)
  • Princella Lee Bridges, Bridges to Augusta
  • Kelly Buckland, National Council on Independent Living
  • William Cannata, Westwood, MA, Fire Department
  • Beth Caruso, Perkins School for the Blind
  • Raul Castillo, National Association of Hispanic Firefighters
  • Patrick Cokley, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Judy Comoletti, NFPA
  • Jason Dorval, Whately, MA, Fire Department
  • Stacy Everson, SEEDS Educational Services
  • Tonia Ferguson, The Arc for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Sharon Gamache, NFPA
  • Lise Hamlin, Hearing Loss Association of America
  • Meredith Hawes, Grand Traverse, MI, Metro Fire Department
  • Cheryl Heppner, Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons
  • Gary Honold, NFPA Northwest Field Office
  • Nadia Ibrahim, Office of Rural Health Policy, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Edwina Juillet, Disabilities Consultant
  • June Kailes, Disabilities Consultant
  • Mat McCollough, DC Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Loretta Moore, San Diego Center for the Blind
  • Gary Olsen, Nevada Association of the Deaf
  • Pat Pound, Disabilities Consultant
  • Jennifer Repella, Autism Society
  • Rosario Sandoval, Riley Hospital for Children
  • Nancy Trench, Oklahoma State University Fire Protection Publications
  • Lisa Braxton, NFPA Staff Liaison

NFPA's Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force
NFPA's Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force includes representatives of national organizations that advocate for people with disabilities and burn survivor groups. 

The NFPA Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force is charged with advising NFPA on the development of new fire safety educational materials for the public to ensure the inclusion of fire and life safety messages for people with disabilities. The task force also seeks to ensure that fire safety educational materials depict people with disabilities in a positive and correct manner. The group reviews existing NFPA educational materials for sensitivity, accuracy, and inclusiveness of people with disabilities. The members make sure that the materials are accessible to all audiences. Task force membership includes fire and life safety specialists, advocate organizations for people with disabilities, and burn survivor groups.

Minutes from the September 2012 meeting of the Task Force

  • Meeting minutes in PDF (542 KB) or Word (9 KB)
  • Addendum A in PDF (429 KB) or Word (31 KB)
  • Addendum B in PDF (415 KB) or Word (30 KB)

Task Force activities 

Gary Olsen
Task Force member Gary Olsen talked about the lessons learned in a successful home fire safety program for people with disabilities.


Award of Appreciation
Michael Collins, who served as chairperson of the Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force for 10 years, was honored in August 2012 with the High-Risk Outreach Award from the Public Education Division in appreciation of his years of service. Under Michael’s leadership, the Task Force provided guidance in the development of a number of fire safety educational materials for people with disabilities. He is the former executive director of the National Council on Disability and speaks, writes reports, and blogs on the themes of independent living, disability awareness, and emergency preparedness.

In June 2012, Task Force members Nancy Trench and Gary Olsen were the panelists for an education session at the NFPA Conference and Expo in Las Vegas titled “Home Fire Safety Solutions for People with Disabilities.” Mr. Olsen, president of the Nevada Association of the Deaf, and Trench, assistant director, Oklahoma State University Fire Protection Publications, gave a presentation on the components and lessons learned in a successful home fire safety program for people with disabilities, discussed the selection and installation of home fire safety equipment–including smoke alarms and alert devices–for people with disabilities, and discussed advocacy efforts for home fire safety devices.

In April 2010, the Task Force met in Phoenix, AZ. Topics discussed included the effectiveness of social media for people with disabilities, physical disability as a factor in home fire deaths, and the latest materials produced by the public education division, including “I Know My Fire Safety Plan," a fire safety social story for high-functioning children with autism.  

In October 2008, the Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force met in Kansas City, MO. The task force strategized on the development of new web-based educational materials focusing on fire safety issue of people with disabilities. The group reviewed recently produced targeted educational materials addressing issues of children with disabilities and gave suggestions for new programs and educational materials for people of all ages with disabilities. The Task Force includes fire and life safety specialists, burn survivor groups, and advocacy organizations for people with disabilities.

In February 2007, the Center for High-Risk Outreach hosted the Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force meeting in Long Beach, CA. The task force strategized on the development of new web-based educational materials focusing on fire-safety issues of people with disabilities. In addition, the group reviewed existing NFPA fire safety education materials to ensure that messages for people with disabilities are included, that materials are in accessible formats and that wording of materials is sensitive and accurate. The Task Force membership is represented by fire and life safety specialists, burn survivor groups, and advocacy organizations for people with disabilities. The Task Force reviewed and updated the criteria for evaluating NFPA Public Education materials (PDF, 71 KB) first outlined during the 2003 task force meeting.

In 2003, the Center for High-Risk Outreach sponsored a meeting on Criteria for Evaluating Public Education Brochures.

In 2002, the Center sponsored Focus on Fire Safety Solutions for People with Disabilities to act on recommendations of Beyond Solutions 2000.  Download the results of that meeting (PDF, 58 KB).

In 2000, a second symposium, Beyond Solutions 2000, was sponsored by the Center and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop an action plan universal to the three targeted high-risk groups. This plan addressed the need for all fire safety and advocacy agencies to take collective responsibility in the areas of egress capability, early warning, and fire sprinkler protection. Several speakers with disabilities were concerned that not enough progress had been made and there were not enough programs addressing their safety needs.  Download a copy of the proceedings. (PDF, 630 KB)

In 1999, NFPA's Center for High-Risk Outreach joined the North American Coalition for Fire and Life Safety Education to sponsor Solutions 2000, a symposium that brought together the fire safety and advocacy communities to examine fire safety challenges of young children, older adults, and people with disabilities.  Download a copy of the proceedings. (PDF, 1 MB)

Photos from the Washington, DC meeting in 2012


The Task Force includes representatives of national organizations that advocate for people with disabilities and burn survivor groups.

Rosario Sandoval (left), program support specialist for Riley Hospital for Children, and Tonia Ferguson, Director of National Initiatives, The Arc for People with Intellectual Disabilities, confer.
 

Nadia Ibrahim, program coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Rural Health Policy, and service dog, Cooper

Loretta Moore, Instructor of Daily Living Skills/Volunteer Coordinator, San Diego Center for the Blind

Photos from the Phoenix, AZ meeting in 2010

The Task Force. NFPA Public Education Project Manager Lisa Braxton (left) is the staff liaison.












 

Mike Hazell, guest speaker and NFPA Web Publisher and Michael Collins, Task Force chair and former executive director, National Council on Disability


Stacy Everson, founder of SEEDS Educational Services, Stanley Oman, safety officer, Searcy Hospital, and Edwina Juillet, disabilities consultant

   
Loretta Moore, instructor of daily living skills and volunteer coordinator, San Diego Center for the Blind, and Linda Woodbury, administrator, Orientation Center for the Blind

Photos from the Kansas City, MO, meeting in 2008


Gary Olsen, former executive director and advocate, Nevada Statewide Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center and Michael Collins, task force chair and executive director, National Council on Disability.












 

Pat Pound, (left) former executive director of the Texas Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities; Raul Castillo, executive vice president, public relations, National Association of Hispanic Firefighters; Cindy Finkle, research coordinator, Oklahoma State University Fire Protection Publications; and Christina Rogers, Strong Families Program Manager, Riley Hospital for Children.

 
Pat Pound (left), former executive director of the Texas Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, makes a point during the meeting.

   
Loretta Moore (center), an instructor of daily living skills and volunteer coordinator for the San Diego Center for the Blind, and Linda Woodbury, disabilities consultant, San Diego.

For more information, please contact Sharon Gamache, +1 617 984-7286.

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