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General Resources

Following are some general resources relating to Scouting and special needs. For information relating to specific needs and disabilities select the Resources by Disability menu option under Additional Resources.

Special Needs and Scouting

BSA Disabilities Awareness Page

Bookmark this page which points to BSA's online special needs documents. A good place to start for Boy Scouts is Guide to Working with Scouts with Special Needs and DisABILITIES. The Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Manual provides more detailed advice on specific disabilities and is applicable to all BSA programs. The Guide to Advancement is where to go for advancement guidelines and policy.

Some BSA special needs publications are available in hard copy only 

  • A Scoutmaster's Guide to Working with Scouts with Disabilities #33056A
  • Understanding Cub Scouts with Disabilities #33839
  • These are available through the Scout Shop, but call first (303.477.4830) to see what they have in stock. 

They can also be ordered through:

BSA National Distribution Center
2109 Westinghouse Blvd.
PO Box 7143
Charlotte, NC 28241-7143

Handouts and Flyers from the Denver Special Needs Team

Troop 5280 Flyer
Pack 237 Flyer
Pack 1777 Flyer
Special Needs and Scouting
Special Needs Resources on the Web
Advancement for Scouts with Special Needs
A Scout Named Joe
Advancement FAQs
Communications Strategies
Disabilities Awareness MB
Disability is a Natural Characteristic
What To Do If You Are A Leader
Anecdotes Regarding Actual Special Needs Scouting Experiences
A Memorandum from the Child with Behavior Disorders

Guide to Working With Scouts With Special Needs and DisABILITIES

  • This is the first document from BSA you should look at regarding special needs.

Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Manual

  • While somewhat dated, this useful manual addresses special needs for all the Scouting programs. It replaces a series of publications that addressed specific disabilities such as blindness, mental retardation and emotional disabilities.

BSA Policy on Disabled Scouts

  • The Boy Scouts of America's applicable policies regarding Scouting and the disabled.

Guide to Advancement

  • This manual, revised in 2013, gives the current BSA policies for advancement.

Definitions of Types of Disabilities

  • A list and description of common disabilities quoted and adapted from the BSA Publication A Scoutmaster's Guide to Working with Scouts with Disabilities.

Colorado Agencies


  • THRIVE is a Community Parent Resource Center that serves all families in the Denver Metro area that have children with disabilities, particularly those with low income or who have linguistic challenges. It provides advice, outreach, training, events and other offerings. Thrive does not charge parents for its services.

Community Resources for Youth With Disabilities

  • This book is an extraordinary list of resources from Colorado listing a great number of resources for youth. The resources include areas such as Employment, Internships, Education, Learning Disabilities, Advocacy Support, Youth Development, and much more.

Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

  • DVR assists persons with disabilities to succeed at work and to live independently.

Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities

  • This trust allows parents to leave their children money without it negatively impacting their disability benefit qualifications. The Director, Ms. Germany, can inform families about how the trust works and how to financially plan/prepare with a child with disabilities.

DRM Colorado Resources Listing

  • This page provides another excellent listing of special needs resources in Colorado.

Peak Parent

  • Centered here in Colorado, Peak Parent has the mission to assist families with disabilities.  You can reach their Denver office at 303-864-1900 or in person at 1212 Mariposa St, Denver, CO 80204.

Easter Seals of Colorado

  • Easter Seals of Colorado offers help to the disabled and their families.

National Agencies

Sourcebook Online

  • Using the search engine you can obtain the addresses, websites, and contacts for many national associations, organizations, and government agencies from the online source book sponsored by the Mental Health Net.

Internet Resources for Special Children (IRSC)

  • The IRSC web site is dedicated to communicating information relating to the needs of children with disAbilities on a global basis.

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY)

  • An information and referral center that provides free information on disabilities and related issues for families, educators, and other professionals.

ADA Home Page

  • U.S. Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act. View and download the entire ADA as well as a multitude of documents and publications regarding the ADA. There is a lot of useful information on this site. Note while the ADA does not legally apply to BSA which is a nonprofit volunteer organization, the BSA's policies are similar to the ADA.

  • Helpful information for those with disabilities from the US government.

National Organization on Disability (NOD)

  • The National Organization on Disability promotes the full and equal participation of America's 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life.

Disability is Natural

  • This organization promotes a people first approach to disabilities and discussion of disabilities.

Other Resources

Guide to Home Remodeling for Disability

Provides resources for selecting or remodelling an accessible home. Here also is additional information about remodeling for special needs include legal rights and sources of financing.

For the college bound: