Scouting Is For ALL Boys

Advancement Policies and Procedures for Youth Members with Disabilities

The following information is taken from the Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide (Boy Scouts of America, 1996 printing of 1994 Edition, No. 33088, pages 20-21). This section provides guidelines for membership and advancement in Scouting for persons having disabilities.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA [also called IDEA]) provides the following definition of an individual with a disability:

An individual is considered to have a "disability" if s/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g.,....seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working), has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such as impairment.

An individual with epilepsy, paralysis, HIV infection, AIDS, a substantial hearing or visual impairment, mental retardation, or a specific learning disability, is covered, but an individual with a minor, non-chronic condition of short duration, such as a sprain, broken limb, or the flu would not be covered by the ADA.


Boys with disabilities may be older than their same grade classmates when they register for Cub membership. Registration beyond the "normal" age may be allowed by the chartering organization with the approval and documentation of appropriate medical and/or educational authorities. The local council approves these registrations on an individual basis and retains current health, medical, or disability certification records on the scout. Unit leaders must be aware of any corrective measures, restrictions, limitations, or abnormalities which pertain to the boy's participation in the program.


All current requirements for advancement through the Cub Scout ranks must be met by all Cubs. In all areas of Cub Scouting, the Cub Scout is encouraged to do his best. Each Cub's performance is judged by his parents on the basis of whether he has done his best toward meeting a requirement. For Webelos, the Webelos Den Leader approves activity badge work with the focus on the motto "Do Your Best".

For Cubs with a disability, it may be necessary to adapt activities to ensure a successful experience for the boy, with the emphasis on his doing his best. When necessary, the Pack Committee and Cubmaster may substitute electives for achievement requirements that exceed a Cub Scout's physical abilities. This is to be done in consultation with the boy's parents. Each Cub is expected to do his best and his performance is not to be compared to the performance of other boys in the Pack. Each boy is different and Scouting is easily adaptable to each boy regardless of his ability level.


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