Scouting With Disabilities

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, or Sea Scouts who have disabilities may qualify for limited flexibility in advancement. Allowances possible in each program are outlined below. It does not necessarily matter if a youth is approved to be registered beyond the age of eligibility. Experience tells us those members whose parents are involved, or at least regularly consulted, progress the farthest. Some units have also followed the example set by Individualized Education Plans, and have established “individual Scout advancement plans” with the same benefits.


Eagle Scout Advancement Information Advancement for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts With Special Needs

Members must meet current advancement requirements as written for merit badges, all ranks, and Eagle Palms—no more and no less—and they are to do exactly what is stated. If it says, “Show or demonstrate,” that is what they must do; just “telling” isn’t enough. The same holds for words and phrases such as “make,” “list,” “in the field,””collect,” “identify,” and “label.” Requests for alternative requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks can be made using the information outlined below.

It is important to remember that the advancement program is meant to challenge our members; however,not all of them can achieve everything they might want to—with or without a disability. It is for this reason all Scouts are required to meet the requirements as they are written, with no exceptions.

For boards of review for Scouts with special needs,the board members should be informed ahead of time about the special circumstances and needs. It may be helpful, too, if the unit leader is present at the review.He or she may be able to help answer questions and provide background. It may be important to allow parents or guardians to be present at the meeting as well—especially if they are able to help interpret and communicate what the Scout is saying. At the least,parents should be available to help board members understand the Scout’s challenges and how he copes with them.   Application for Registration beyond the age of eligibility     Alternate Merit Badge Application

For More Information Please Visit:

Here are links to current materials to aid volunteers and Scouts with disabilities:

Guide to Working With Scouts With Special Needs and Disabilities
BookShare in Scouting
Information Sheet
Scouting for Youth With Disabilities Manual
Individual Scout Achievement Plan
Disability Challenge

Official Materials:

Posted on Scouting with Disabilities new landing page:

Including Scouts with Disabilities educational presentation:

Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility form, No. 512-935:

Individual Scout Advancement Plan, No. 512-936:     Alternate Merit Badge Application

Advancement for Members with Disabilities and/or Special Needs:

Guide to Working With Scouts with Special Needs and Disabilities, No. 510-071:

Working With Scouts With disAbilities:

Social Media Twitter: @Abilities Digest Facebook: