Here you will find some tips and resources to help you be more inclusive towards all young people in Scouting.
Inclusion is good practice: consider everyone’s needs – physical, social and emotional
Focus on the individual not the disability
Don’t wrap young people in cotton wool. They have a disability; they are not ill.
Don’t make assumptions:
- That they cannot access your premises when in reality they may have to cope with similar situations all the time in their home or community
- That because they cannot speak clearly, they do not understand
- That because they cannot join in some of your activities, they will not enjoy being part of all you do.
Talk to the young person and family members. Also, see the questionnaires and supporting material below.
Don’t assume they will need someone to help them all the time to enable them to join you – whilst some children made need one-to-one support initially or for specific activities, you need to be wary of a personal supporter becoming a barrier to their involvement and isolating them from their peers. Try to encourage such support to be part of the wider team bringing their gifts and skills to the wider context and sharing the individual support among the team and where appropriate among the other members of the section.
Use a variety of media to communicate – can you run a favourite game using pictures or simple sounds rather than words? Use pictures to indicate parts of your building, what’s stored in a cupboard or box; create a picture chart of different activities to enable children with limited speech to choose which they would like to do or to help explain what is going to happen next.
Regularly monitor how it is going with your team and with the family and the individual – see the suggested form below.
Specially designed forms to assist you in including a disabled child or young person
Useful links, contacts and literature
Christine Cocker – email@example.com – is willing to do a session with your section on Makaton based signing.
Tim Simpson can provide support and training for leaders on Autism and Diabetes. Tim is a Scout Leader in Cheltenham and his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Active Impact – advice, training, wants and offers (equipment and resources); opportunities for community action and involvement – Gloucestershire based
A+bility – outdoor activities/courses, equipment – Gloucestershire based
Allsorts – advice, opportunities for community action and involvement – Gloucestershire based
The Buskers Guide to Inclusion by Philip Douch ( of Active Impact) Publ. by Common Threads Ltd
Top Tips on Welcoming Special Children by Denise Abrahall publ. by Scripture Union