scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Tenth Anniversary - Americans with Disabilities Act
Wed Jul 26 2000 - 17:06:20 CDT
My mind wandered to the quote carved into the facade at the National
Archives: �What is past is prologue�. This message is but 150 feet from
the only memorial, a desk size block of granite, that Franklin Roosevelt
desired erected in his memory.
Moments ago I returned from a celebration of the Tenth anniversary of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) held at the far more grandeous
memorial that a grateful nation finally erected to FDR.
Expressing their visions for the future, at the event, were the
President and First Lady; Senators Harkin and Hatch; and, the
standard-bearer for the disAbility Rights Movement for more than four
decades - Justin Dart. The issues of disAbility are a multi-partisan
matter, and the celebration included national and local leaders whose
names are well known and unknown.
Senator Hatch recounted having to carry his brother-in-law into church.
Senator Harkin recounted the insults that his deaf and mute, though
intelligent, brother had to endure. With 54 million cross-generational
disAbled citizens in the U.S., alone, none of us are far from their
Clearly noted was the wonder that what was once unusual ten years ago:
curb-cuts; captioning on TV; people using wheelchairs in restaurants and
stores has now become transparent - even commonplace. But, the past is
prologue and the vision is not yet fulfilled.
In Scouting, the past is also prologue, and the vision unfulfilled.
After the ADA became the law of the land, BSA adopted inclusion as its
policy. But policy does not always translate into awareness or
practice. WWSWd�s intent is to affect awareness and practice, and in
some small way effect policy.
WWSWd = <http://www.boyscouts-marin.org/wwswd/wwswd.htm>
This year saw BSA drop its �fail-first� policy for required merit badges
in favor of allowing the input of medical practitioners and educators in
determining the path to Eagle for youth with disAbilities. It was a
welcomed, and timely, change. That is past, and is prologue.
We at WWSWd can envision even greater change, and we hope you do too.
We believe that in Scouting, as in life, there is no one way to personal
fulfillment or success. Achievement is the youth�s, not that of the
we would like to see BSA make advancement more accessible (not by
�watering down� requirements) by presenting referrals and guidance on
alternative means to approach completion, and alternative and acceptable
we would like to see BSA promote the active recruitment of youth with
disAbilities so that units see a groundswell of parents demanding
inclusion of their youth;
we would like to see BSA develop more and better training aids for
leaders and junior leaders - modules for Impessa, through Wood Badge;
we would like to see BSA actually promote and develop accessible program
sites from Philmont down through camporees and meeting locations.
But WWSWd should be your forum as well, so please tell us what you think
we should be about that we�re not, or where we may have gone astray.