Cub Scouts with Disabilities
Jay Thal (jay.thal@TCS.WAP.ORG)
Sun, 8 Feb 1998 14:32:49 EST
UNDERSTANDING CUB SCOUTS WITH DISABILITIES
Over two decades ago United States Federal law mandated that children with
disabilities be afforded an education in the least restrictive environment.
This did two things: it required that school districts provide access to full
educational opportunities rather than excluding them from education because
modification of curricula or facilities was inconvenient or costly; and, that
to benefit the children, and to the degree possible, students with disabilities
be included in regular educational settings rather than isolated from their
peers. This later concept is called mainstreaming.
U.S. Scouting has, and continues to have, units which are school or
institutionally based which bring Scouting to groups of youth isolated because
of their disabling conditions. But, Scouting encourages units to embrace all
within mainstream units.
All youth are unique. Each bring different strengths and gifts to the unit.
Each learn from one another, irrespective of their own strengths or gifts.
Scouting should be a microcosm of that idealized society we strive for as part
of our developmental goals.
This is one of a series of brief reviews of U.S. Scouting publications which
provide support, guidance, and direction to units and leaders in the belief
that Scouting and Scouts gain from inclusion. My intention is to share this
information so that Scouters will be encouraged to expand their recruitment
efforts. It will be republished from time to time, or sent upon request.
This is also intended to encourage Scouters to secure the original and complete
publications from BSA, for their own use. The antecedents for many of these
publications date to the mid-1970s. Perhaps BSA will, sometime, publish a list
of them in its annual catalog, as well. Policies or initiatives of other
Nations would be welcome and shared.
Among the publications are:
A Scoutmaster s Guide to Working with Scouts with Disabilities;
Scouting for Youth with Emotional Disabilities; Mental Retardation;
Physical Disabilities; Hearing Impairments; Blind and Visually Impaired;
Learning Disabilities; Exploring;....
This Preamble will be included with each review.
UNDERSTANDING CUB SCOUTS WITH DISABILITIES No. 33839
1995, ISBN 0-8395-3839- , 31 pages
Gosh! I think I like this BSA publication about Scouting for Youth with
Disabilities more than any other!!! It is practical! It is can do! It doesnUt
carry with it the admonitions that many of the others have (which can be too
strictly interpreted) under: Guidelines for Membership and Advancement. i.e.
R...No substitutions or alternatives may be permitted....S
This Guide suggest how leaders can actively assist a Cub Scout (and why not any
other) to do their best. It starts with the words: RMany individuals typically
shun unusual situation.S, and then goes on to give examples as how to alter the
circumstances to achieve success. You are limited only by your imagination!
In the Chapter on Modifying Traditional Aspects of the Program, it addresses
Types of Adaptions: Materials; Rules; Architectural; Leisure Companion;
Cooperative Group; and, Behavioral Management. The guide presents real-life
examples as to how Den Meetings can be adapted, and modifications to Rank
*Larry* and *Jose* and *John* are the pseudonyms for boys which you may want to
help in your Pack (or Troop or Post). Examples of Requirements are given,
along with responses, and possible adaptions. It is the Hegelian dialectic
brought into the everyday life of Scouting. How can we deal with Outdoor
Activities? What are the Scenarios of doing The Good Turn?
There are four Activity Ideas which could challenge adult problem solving
skills, but are meant for the boys. These can be a youth*s first exposure to
group dynamics, understanding the limitations of others; crisis resolution
There are practical tips on how we can be sensitive to Cub Scouts (Persons)
with disabilities - in the adult world we call them: reasonable accommodations,
with specific adaptions to different impairments or disabilities. There are
definitions of the types of disabilities, and listings of available resources
Article XI, Section 3, Clause 19 of the BSA Rules and regulations reads, in
part: ...under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed upon
consultation with appropriate medical authorities, registration of boys who are
either mentally retarded or severely physically handicapped...as Cub
Scouts...over age 18 as Boy Scouts, or Varsity Scouts, and registration of
young adults...over age 21 as Explorers, and the participation of each in the
respective advancement programs while registered, is authorized.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City