Advancement for Scouts with Special Needs and disAbilities Patriots’ Path Council Advancement Committee Guide to Advancement Section 10 Advancement for Members with Special Needs • All youth with or without special needs and disAbilities are welcome to join Scouting. A youth with special needs is not always classified as disAbled. •Accommodations exist to help with Advancement and will be discussed in this presentation. •Traditional Units, as well as Units specifically designed for members with special needs exist in our Council. “Registering members beyond the age of eligibility” What does this mean? •Cub Scout- 11 or older •Boy or Varsity Scout- 18 or older •Venturing or Sea Scout- 21 or older Note: This request is for an infinite amount of time, not alternate requirements 10.1.0.0 Possible Criteria for registering beyond the age of eligibility •Autism spectrum disorder •Blind or sight impaired •Deaf or hard of hearing •Cognitive disability •Developmental delay •Downs syndrome •Emotional/ behavioral disorder •Physical disability •Traumatic brain injury •Multiple coexisting disabilities Disabilities can be invisible 10.1.0.1 How to register a member beyond the age of eligibility 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Letter from parent or guardian Complete youth membership application or proof of membership Completed and signed BSA Medical Record (Parts A & C) Signed statement from a qualified health professional Letter from the unit leader supporting the registration Other supporting documentation (IEP, strengths and weaknesses) 10.1.0.2 All paperwork is submitted to the Council Advancement Committee Committee reviews and may request more information Upon approval or disapproval, the parent/ guardian and the unit leader is sent a letter; copy is retained in the registration file Scout is registered as a youth with a disability until registration lapses or he/ she registers as an adult or the required level of severity no longer exists 10.1..0.2 Advancement Flexibility Allowed (with or without RBAA) Cub Scouts- Has he done his best? Pack Committee determines what is appropriate with parents assistance Boy Scouts- Must meet current requirements as written, unless alternate requirements are approved by the Council Advancement Committee. 10.2.0.0 How to apply for Alternative Boy Scout Requirements •Members must complete as many requirements as possible before applying •Unit leader submits a written request, to the Council Advancement Committee, stating what has been completed and suggestions for the requirements the Scout cannot do •Supporting letters from another unit leader, parent/ guardian and the Scout •Another statement from a health professional should include Scouts capabilities, disability, limitations, prognosis and specific requirements that cannot be completed •Info is forwarded to the Council Advancement Committee for approval •Note: This is a request to change requirements, not to extend time. 10.2.2.2 Alternate Merit Badges for Eagle Scout •Requirements for merit badges cannot be modified or substituted •Substitute is one entire badge for another •Can be used with or without RBAA •Must provide a similar challenge •Use application for alternate Eagle Scout rank merit badges •Need letters from the same group as alternate requirements •First sent to District Advancement Committee, then to Council Advancement Committee •Committee may wish to interview the Scout with his parent & leader •Committee returns an answer to the same via the approved/ disapproved form •Form must be attached to Eagle rank application when submitted 10.2.2.3 The form can be found at: http://www.scouting.org/forms.aspx or at our own PPC website ppbsa.org/advancement Approval for Special Needs Eagle Candidates over age 18 •Must be RBAA approved •Need letter from the Advancement Committee or Scout Executive •If not RBAA approved, but should be, procedures from RBAA Section 10.1.0.0 should be followed and approval secured •If cannot meet RBAA criteria, a Scout may be able to qualify for an extension of time- See Time extensions 22.214.171.124 10.2.2.4 Time Extensions •If a Scout foresees that, due to no fault or choice of his own, he will be unable to complete the Eagle Scout rank before age 18, he may apply for a limited time extension. Scout joined or rejoined and there is not enough time to complete ranks. Circumstances came to exist that prevent completion before the deadline. Circumstance is totally beyond the control of the Scout. Circumstance is severe and not part of the Scout’s normal life. Circumstance could not have been planned or anticipated. 126.96.36.199 Process for submitting & evaluating an Extension Request 1. Scout, parent/ guardian, unit leader or unit committee may file the request. 2. Request must document the circumstances. 3.Two Council Advancement Committee members research the request and prepare a summary. 4. Council Advancement Committee prepares a statement and shares with the Scout, his parent/ guardian and his unit leader. 5. The Scout then decides to pursue or not the extension with the National Advancement Team. 6. Request for Extension of Time to earn Eagle Scout Rank is filed with the National Team; decision usually takes 2-4 weeks. 188.8.131.52 Advancement for Venturers & Sea Scouts with Special Needs •The activities must fit within the capabilities of the prospective member •Crews may offer more flexibility than ships •Safety concerns onboard a vessel may present barriers that are difficult or impossible to overcome 10.2.3.0 Working toward Venturing Awards & Sea Scout ranks •The Venturer is expected to meet requirements as stated •Alternate requirements for Bronze, Gold, Silver, Ranger, Quest • and TRUST awards & Sea Scout ranks follow the same procedures as Section 10.2.2.2 “How to apply for Alternate Requirements” •The Advancement Committee must involve an adult with thorough knowledge of Venturing/ Sea Scout advancement and awards in this Decision •Both groups can also apply for RBAA as stated in Section 10.1.0.0 10.2.3.2 & .3 Awards for Outstanding Service Benefiting Members with Special Needs Torch of Gold Certificate The Torch of Gold certificate, No. 33733, is awarded by local councils. It provides recognition to individuals who, over an extended period of time, have provided exceptional service to Scouting youth with special needs and disAbilities. National approval is not involved 10.2.4.0 Resources • • • • • • • • The boy’s parent(s) and teacher(s). The boy himself. Your and your unit’s observations of the youth BSA- http://www.scouting.org/specialneeds.aspx Individual organization publications. Individualized Scouting Achievement Plan (ISAP). 2013 Guide to Advancement scouting.org/publications Scouting for Youth with Disabilities (#34059) Scenario 1 A Scout permanently uses a wheelchair. He needs to hike and wants to join his troop for a day hike. Is it considered “hiking” if he is in his wheelchair? Why or why not? Scenario 2 A Scout is well on the way to Eagle. He is planning on finishing by the time he is 17 ½ but at 17 is in an automobile accident. He is in the hospital and/or rehab for 6 months and cannot participate in Scouts. Can/should he apply for an extension of time for his Eagle? Scenario 3 A Scout is 17 ½ and realizes he will not have enough time to finish Eagle. He has a learning disability and applies for an extension in time. Should this be approved? Why or why not? Scenario 4 A Scout who is legally blind claims he has completed astronomy merit badge. You ask him how he identified constellations. He replied, his SM punched holes in a paper plates, held them over his head, outside at night, in the right place for the night sky, and he used his hands to feel and identify the constellations. Should this be acceptable? Why or why not? disAbilities = different abilities We all have them. Youth who have disAbilities want the same personal growth, companionship and FUN opportunities that any youth does and it is our challenge to provide them.