Abilities Digest

Abilities Digest Abilities Digest is a quarterly newsletter by the Boy Scouts of America to help ensure inclusion of youth of all abilities in Scouting. Subscribe by email.
For over a century, Boy Scouts have served others at all times. In fact, the Boy Scouts of America was founded on the premise that to be a good citizen you must do for others.
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The OFFICIAL page for Abilities Digest, a quarterly publication of the Boy Scouts of America National Disability Awareness Committee. To subscribe, send us an email via the "Send Email" button at the top of the page. Digital Community Contract: The views expressed by users/fans on this page are the sole responsibility of the user(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA is not responsible for the content of user posts or the content of any linked website, or any link contained in a linked website, or any changes or updates to such websites. The posting of a link does not imply endorsement by the BSA of the linked site or its contents. The BSA does not govern and is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. The BSA encourages you to read and familiarize yourself with the privacy statements of any website that requests your personal information. This digital Scouting community is governed by the Scout Oath and Scout Law. We will delete any comment that we believe does not reflect the Scout Oath and Scout Law. This includes comments that use inappropriate language or are potentially libelous or injurious to the privacy of an individual or group. Users posting these comments will be banned from commenting on this site. Off-topic comments as well as those promoting unapproved products and services will also be removed. Users posting any comments, photos, videos, links or other items that fall into one or more of the congressionally mandated CyberTipline reporting categories of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (found here: http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=2447) will be reported to the proper law enforcement agencies.

Mission: Purpose: Expand membership through helping parents and Scouting volunteers to improve their understanding, knowledge, and skills related to including and serving the special needs population. Mission of BSA: To prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

So, you have adult Scouts 18 years old or older who are registered beyond the age of eligibility (RBAE). Their registrat...
05/11/2020
Youth Protection Training Exemption for Mental Disabilities

So, you have adult Scouts 18 years old or older who are registered beyond the age of eligibility (RBAE). Their registrations are based on severely limited mental abilities. Their adult applications have been filled out and now they must take Youth Protection Training (YPT). “Really??” you ask. “No way!” Scouts who cognitively function below their chronological age may not be in it for rank advancement or to earn 110 merit badges. [ 262 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/05/11/ypt-exemption/

So, you have adult Scouts 18 years old or older who are registered beyond the age of eligibility (RBAE). Their registrations are based on severely limited mental abilities. Their adult applications…

There have been national changes to the policy for everyone age 18 or older who participate as members of a Scouting or ...
05/10/2020
New Rules to Register Beyond Age 18

There have been national changes to the policy for everyone age 18 or older who participate as members of a Scouting or Venturing unit. All participants age 18 or older must fill out the adult application and agree to a criminal background check. They must also take Youth Protection Training unless they receive a special exemption (we discuss this in a separate article). [ 289 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/05/10/new-rules-rbae/

There have been national changes to the policy for everyone age 18 or older who participate as members of a Scouting or Venturing unit. All participants age 18 or older must fill out the adult appl…

A scoutmaster recently asked the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee about training for “Bob,” an assistan...
05/09/2020
Supporting Adult Leaders with Cognitive Limitations

A scoutmaster recently asked the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee about training for “Bob,” an assistant scoutmaster with cognitive limitations. “Bob” assists with simple tasks during daytime events and camp activities, but does not participate in overnights. “Bob” has completed Youth Protection Training (YPT), but not Outdoor Leadership Skills (OLS), which traditionally involves an overnight training event. The Committee identified three strategies: [ 136 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/05/09/supporting-adult-leaders-with-cognitive-limitations/

A scoutmaster recently asked the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee about training for “Bob,” an assistant scoutmaster with cognitive limitations. “Bob” assists with simple tasks dur…

The Torch of Gold Award is a council award recognizing adult volunteers for service to Scouting with special needs and a...
05/08/2020
Presenting the Torch of Gold Award

The Torch of Gold Award is a council award recognizing adult volunteers for service to Scouting with special needs and abilities. Each council may present one Torch of Gold Award every year. Nomination: Publicize the award in council newsletters and online venues. Volunteers in the council’s special needs and disabilities programs should also nominate people active in those programs. Use the posted nomination form: … [ 169 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/05/08/presenting-torch-of-gold/

The Torch of Gold Award is a council award recognizing adult volunteers for service to Scouting with special needs and abilities. Each council may present one Torch of Gold Award every year. Nomina…

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” said Neil Armstrong as he landed on the moon, July 20, 1969. Tra...
05/07/2020
Tranquility Base: A Safe Space

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” said Neil Armstrong as he landed on the moon, July 20, 1969. Tranquility Base, named by Armstrong, became a very famous area in the Sea of Tranquility during those exciting space travel years. You can just imagine it: how peaceful, quiet, and beautiful in its desolation. Fast forward 50 years and we have a different idea of Tranquility Base in Scouts BSA. [ 954 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/05/07/tranquility-base/

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” said Neil Armstrong as he landed on the moon, July 20, 1969. Tranquility Base, named by Armstrong, became a very famous area in the Sea of Tr…

Doris (“Dori”) Sue Hammer of the Denver Area Council, Western Region, received the 2019 Woods Services Award at the BSA ...
04/15/2020
Dori Hammer: 2019 Woods Services Award Recipient

Doris (“Dori”) Sue Hammer of the Denver Area Council, Western Region, received the 2019 Woods Services Award at the BSA National Annual Meeting last May. As Assistant Council Commissioner since 2011, Dori has provided leadership to the Council Committee on Special Needs. Prior to that she served in several Commissioner and Unit positions providing opportunities and resources for She has taught special needs courses at Wood Badge, merit badge college, commissioner college, and University of Scouting. [ 199 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/04/15/dori-hammer/

Doris (“Dori”) Sue Hammer of the Denver Area Council, Western Region, received the 2019 Woods Services Award at the BSA National Annual Meeting last May. As Assistant Council Commissioner since 201…

This is the first issue of Abilities Digest for 2020: the "late winter" edition. Abilities Digest V7 n1Download Here is ...
03/27/2020
Abilities Digest – Late Winter 2020

This is the first issue of Abilities Digest for 2020: the "late winter" edition. Abilities Digest V7 n1Download Here is a summary of the contents: [ 58 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/03/27/abdigv07n1/

This is the first issue of Abilities Digest for 2020: the “late winter” edition. Abilities Digest V7 n1Download Here is a summary of the contents:

Observations by Warren Wenner, CNP, Chair, National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee One of the most common ques...
03/24/2020
Advancement help may be right down the street

Observations by Warren Wenner, CNP, Chair, National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee One of the most common questions the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee receives from leaders and parents is where do I go for help with advancement for my Special Needs Scout. Well, the best answer may be right down the street at the Scout’s school. Meeting with your Scout’s school’s special education teacher or reading specialist teacher could be the best answer. [ 468 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/03/24/school-help/

Observations by Warren Wenner, CNP, Chair, National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee One of the most common questions the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee receives from lea…

Adapted from a report by Tony Mei, the Inclusion Advisor for Centro Mondial at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The 2019 W...
03/21/2020
Special Needs at the World Scout Jamboree

Adapted from a report by Tony Mei, the Inclusion Advisor for Centro Mondial at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The 2019 World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) took place last summer at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. It was the first World Jamboree to take place in North America since the 1983 Jamboree in Alberta, Canada. It was the first to take place in the United States since 1967. [ 419 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/03/21/wsj2019/

Adapted from a report by Tony Mei, the Inclusion Advisor for Centro Mondial at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The 2019 World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) took place last summer at the Summit Bechtel Reserv…

The following was reported by Sherry Herzog, a Three Fires volunteer and the Chair of Education and Training for the Nat...
03/19/2020
Three Fires Council’s Wizard’s Academy

The following was reported by Sherry Herzog, a Three Fires volunteer and the Chair of Education and Training for the National Disabilities Awareness Subcommittee Scouts and Scouters of the Three Fires Council hosted a “Wizard’s Academy” in Aurora, IL, last May with the theme “The Magic of Seeing the Ability not the Disability.” We partnered with community organizations to host various activities. [ 271 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/03/19/wizards-academy19/

The following was reported by Sherry Herzog, a Three Fires volunteer and the Chair of Education and Training for the National Disabilities Awareness Subcommittee Scouts and Scouters of the Three Fi…

Last year we announced our new committee name: the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee (NSNDC). We also we...
03/17/2020
National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee

Last year we announced our new committee name: the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee (NSNDC). We also welcomed Warren Wenner as the new chair for the NSNDC. Warren took over from Tony Mei at the 2019 BSA National Annual Meeting. Warren served 34 years as a professional Scouter and has served on both our advisory committee and the national committee since his retirement 5 1⁄2 years ago. [ 422 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2020/03/17/national-special-needs-and-disabilities-committee/

Last year we announced our new committee name: the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee (NSNDC). We also welcomed Warren Wenner as the new chair for the NSNDC. Warren took over from To…

National Autism Association
03/16/2020

National Autism Association

Understanding leads to compassion.

#autism

Scouters in Australia and New Zealand are collecting information to aid Scouts with neurological conditions like ADHD, a...
03/16/2020
Web Site on Neurodiverse Scouting

Scouters in Australia and New Zealand are collecting information to aid Scouts with neurological conditions like ADHD, autism, and others that impact their Scouting experience:
http://ablescouts.org/2020/03/16/neurodiverse/

Scouters in Australia and New Zealand are collecting information to aid Scouts with neurological conditions like ADHD, autism, and others that impact their Scouting experience:

We have just completed the Winter 2019 issue of Abilities Digest. It will be distributed to the email list shortly. abd-...
12/29/2019
Winter 2019 Abilities Digest

We have just completed the Winter 2019 issue of Abilities Digest. It will be distributed to the email list shortly. abd-v06n2r5Download Here is a summary of the contents: Welcome our new National Committee Chair, Warren Wenner. Training opportunities at Seabase this winter and Philmont this spring. Philmont offers a new experience for Scouts with special needs. Dori Hammer receives the Woods Services Award. [ 35 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2019/12/29/abd-v06n2/

We have just completed the Winter 2019 issue of Abilities Digest. It will be distributed to the email list shortly. abd-v06n2r5Download Here is a summary of the contents: Welcome our new National C…

The Communications and Inclusion activity at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree collected hundreds of written comments from p...
10/28/2019
Notes from Jamboree Participants

The Communications and Inclusion activity at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree collected hundreds of written comments from participants all over the world. Volunteer Jennifer Allred has curated this collection and is posting them - with English translations as needed - to the "Unlock a New World through Inclusion" page. The comments provide a truly inspiring glimpse into the youth today who will be adults of tomorrow.
http://ablescouts.org/2019/10/28/jambo-notes/

The Communications and Inclusion activity at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree collected hundreds of written comments from participants all over the world. Volunteer Jennifer Allred has curated this co…

Title: DIVERSEability and DisABILITY: How to Develop and Grow Scouting With Special Needs in Your Council This course is...
10/17/2019
Seabase Training Opportunity: Jan 12-18

Title: DIVERSEability and DisABILITY: How to Develop and Grow Scouting With Special Needs in Your Council This course is for volunteer Scouters, professionals, chartered organization leadership, school district personnel, and parents who have a passion for helping youth with disabilities become involved in and benefit from all that Scouting has to offer. Find out how to start or strengthen a disabilities awareness committee within your council. [ 77 more words ]
http://ablescouts.org/2019/10/17/seabase-2020/

Title: DIVERSEability and DisABILITY: How to Develop and Grow Scouting With Special Needs in Your Council This course is for volunteer Scouters, professionals, chartered organization leadership, sc…

The Zia Experience: July 26-Aug 1, 2020 at Philmont Training Center. This is to be a Philmont experience for Scouting yo...
09/24/2019
Philmont Special Needs Experience, July 2020

The Zia Experience: July 26-Aug 1, 2020 at Philmont Training Center. This is to be a Philmont experience for Scouting youth at all levels of functioning and abilities. Here is a flier: the-zia-experience-flierDownload
http://ablescouts.org/2019/09/24/zia/

The Zia Experience: July 26-Aug 1, 2020 at Philmont Training Center. This is to be a Philmont experience for Scouting youth at all levels of functioning and abilities. Here is a flier: the-zia-expe…

Not sure if this was posted before. Have people used these ideas?
09/02/2019
Taming Tantrums vs. Managing Meltdowns

Not sure if this was posted before. Have people used these ideas?

Tantrums and sensory meltdowns are related, but different. Kids usually have control over tantrums but not over meltdowns. Learn about ways to handle each type of emotional outburst.

Father Nathan Monk
09/02/2019

Father Nathan Monk

This is what it looks like to be living in your purpose.

Special Needs Scouting, Great Trail Council, BSA
08/25/2019

Special Needs Scouting, Great Trail Council, BSA

What is ACTUALLY behind some of the behaviors our Scouts with exceptional needs have? There's a handy dandy chart--AND if you message us--help for difficult behaviors.

#InclusionRevolution

08/10/2019
Your Autism Guide

Your Autism Guide

Let’s face it. Sometimes it can be really hard for those with speech and language challenges to memorize and recite auditory information.

But this is a great visual memory tool for new scouts on the spectrum to learn the Scout Oath!

Asperger's Syndrome Awareness
08/09/2019

Asperger's Syndrome Awareness

By far my favourite word for Autism 😌
- Jay

05/21/2019
Scouting and Autism With Dr. Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

This video interview took place in 2012, and is still worth watching!

In this video, the world's most accomplished autistic woman Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, offers thoughts on ...

Volume 6, no. 1, of Abilities Digest is now available. Here is a summary of the contents: Adapting Activities: The Chief...
05/15/2019
Spring 2019 Issue of Abilities Digest

Volume 6, no. 1, of Abilities Digest is now available. Here is a summary of the contents: Adapting Activities: The Chief Scout Executive speaks on Scouting with disabilities and special needs; summer activities for Scouts with special needs. Enhancing Awareness: Revised Special Needs and Disabilities Introduction now available; Philmont training program on special needs Scouting. Recognizing Abilities: Scouters recognized this year for service to Scouting with special needs and disabilities. Adapting Advancement: Perspectives on comparable challenges and expectations in advancement. Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness materials.
http://ablescouts.org/2019/05/14/abd-v06n1/

Volume 6, no. 1, of Abilities Digest is now available. Here is a summary of the contents:   Adapting Activities: The Chief Scout Executive speaks on Scouting with disabilities and special need…

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Comments

Thankfully BSA has been ahead of the game in while updating their publications to use the correct terms "hearing loss, deaf, Deaf or hard or hearing". Change is coming to state laws so now is a good time to look up the term 'impaired' and understand what is means and what is implied to grasp why this is taking place... New York State became the third state to strike the term "hearing impaired" from state law under legislation signed recently by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. All references in state law will be changed from "hearing impaired" to "deaf or hard of hearing." (Why capitalized 'D' in Deaf? Reference to include one's heritage/ community is shown with through the capitalization of the 'D' in Deaf.)
This year I plan to host an event called Scouting with Disabilities. This is to promote scouting among those with disabilities as well as bring awareness to those without severe disabilities in my district/council. I want to offer unique ways to bring awareness as well as be kind and courteous to the needs with disabilities of those who may come. If you have hosted similar events, I would appreciate all the advice you would care to give. Who are some contacts you would make to assist? What are some activities you would offer?
A good read from a fellow Scouter