Scouting helps by giving Scouts with disabilities an opportunity to prove to themselves and to others that they can do things- and difficult things too- for themselves." Lord Baden-Powell
The Orion District is committed to making Scouting accessible and enjoyable to all regardless of their abilities.
Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has included fully participating members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. The BSA's policy is to treat members with disabilities as much like other members as possible. It has been traditional, however, to make some accommodations in advancement if absolutely necessary. By adapting the environment and/or our instruction methods, most Scouts with disabilities can be successful in Scouting.
The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities is full participation. Youth with disabilities can be treated and respected like every other member of their unit. They want to participate like other youth - and Scouting provides that opportunity.
An individual is considered to have a disability if he or she:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities- seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working,
- has a record of such an impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
Every unit is different, and every Scout with special needs has a uniqueness all his or her own. If a problem arises, parents and adult leaders can usually handle it themselves; however, knowledgeable Scouters may offer additional solutions and valuable perspectives. The council Disabilities Awareness Committee is also available to provide training and to be a resource to help resolve challenges.