Scouts With Disabilities
If you have a scout with a special need that can not fulfill rank requirements or merit badges, please click on the links below for the procedures and documentation needed. Once you write up a letter (Scoutmaster, Dr., Parents and Scout), attach all other forms, please send Theresa Nead, AS Advancement Chairperson, all files in a PDF to be presented to the Council Adv. Team for approval. Please keep in mind that this takes time to read through and approve. The Council Adv. Team meets bi-monthly but it can and does meet for emergencies.
BSA’s National Advancement Team has just released several forms to assist Scouts with disabilities. These forms have been available as appendices to other publications, but they were recently released as updated, separate documents to make it easier to locate and use them. The new forms — and many other great resources — may be found at:http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/resources.aspx. And they can also be directly download from these links:
· Individual Scout Achievement Plan (No. 512-936)
· Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges (No. 512-730)
· Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility (No. 512-935)
The BSA’s Guide To Advancement can also be downloaded from that webpage. The GTA is important reading for all leaders. Section 10 of the GTA is especially important for those who may have a Scout with a disability join their pack, troop, team, or crew. Be prepared when Scouts, parents, unit leaders, and other parties have questions so you can provide accurate information to them.
Section 10 of the GTA provides full information about several ways that Scouts, parents, or leaders may help the advancement of a Scout with disabilities. Here are some of those ways:
1. A Scout with a permanent physical or mental disability (or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond the 18th birthday) who is unable to complete all the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank may submit a request to the council advancement committee to complete alternative requirements. The request is made by developing an Individual Scout Achievement Plan. For Scouts who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with their school, the Individual Scout Achievement Plan can help align their Scouting educational experience with their IEP.
2. Alternatives are not available for the Star, Life, and Eagle rank requirements. Scouts may request approval for alternatives to Eagle-required merit badges using the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, but the other requirements for those three ranks must be fulfilled as written.
3. A Scout with a significant disability (e.g., Down Syndrome) may continue to be registered as a youth member beyond the standard age of eligibility (11 years old for Cub Scouts, 18 years old for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts, and 21 years old for Venturers), and he may continue to work on his Scouting advancement program. For more information, see the Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility.
Of course, the earlier in the Scout’s career that the parents, leaders, etc., submit these items to the Council Advancement Committee for consideration, the easier it is for all concerned. Early consultation, advice, and approval will avoid disappointment, unauthorized modifications to advancement requirements, extension requests, appeals, etc.
Theresa Nead, Apopka Shores Advancement Chairperson