Making Scouting accessible and inclusive

Objectives

This module will teach you how to create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all young people in the section. It will give you an understanding of some different additional needs a young person might have, and show you how to make reasonable adjustments to make the programme more inclusive for all.

By the end of the module, you will have an understanding of:

  • that every young person is different
  • that every young person is welcome in Scouting
  • your role in contributing to a positive and inclusive environment
  • a range of additional needs may affect participation in the programme
  • how to adapt programmes to meet the needs of all young people within the section
  • where to get further information and guidance

Diversity and Inclusion

The concept of diversity encompasses recognising people as individuals, understanding that everybody is unique and that we should respect our individual differences. These differences may include but are not limited to:

  • age
  • gender identity
  • race
  • religion
  • social or economic background
  • abilities or disabilities

Encouraging diversity in Scouting promotes respect for different ideas and perspectives as well as an understanding of differences that can impact on others.

When we talk about inclusion in Scouting, we are talking about the act of ensuring that Scouting is open to all and supporting anyone to overcome any barrier to participating in the Scouting programme. As part of being inclusive, we need to ensure that our programme and meeting place is appropriate and that we have considered any additional needs members might have.

It is important to consider diversity and inclusion as at its core Scouting is an inclusive, values-based movement and membership is open to all those who share our fundamental values. A person’s differences and uniqueness should be encouraged and celebrated.

Activity One

Write down what inclusion and diversity mean to you, and why they are important in Scouting. Do you think your section/group is fully inclusive?

Goto to the bottom of the page to see what we mean by diversity and inclusion.

To run activities in your section that will help to explore the themes of diversity and inclusion, have a look at the following badges for your section level:

Beavers: FaithInternationalMy WorldCommunity Impact
Cubs: My FaithInternationalWorld FaithsOur WorldCommunity Impact
Scouts: My FaithInternationalWorld FaithsWorldCommunity Impact

Additional Needs and Disabilities

What doyou understand by the terms ‘special educational needs’ and ‘disability’?

Additional needs and disabilities may be visible or invisible, and the needs of each young person will be unique. Some may occur for a limited period of time. For example, a broken arm, an illness, or some emotional needs due to a family break-up, are all temporary needs.

However, many additional needs are permanent conditions. These include conditions such as asthma, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), dyslexia or physical disabilities.

Some additional needs can fluctuate and may be affected by a range of different factors, such as stress. Additional needs and disabilities should not prevent a young person from being able to participate in Scouting. By making reasonable adjustments (doing things differently or providing additional support), most young people can access Scouting and develop to their full potential.

It is also important to be aware of any allergies, medical needs, faith or cultural needs a young person may have. For example, you may need to cater for vegetarian, Halal and Kosher diets or a young person who is coeliac or has a nut allergy and ensure that their needs are incorporated into section meetings and camps.

Activity Two

Match the celebrity with the special need.

ADHDDyspraxiaType 2 Diabetes
Lupus DiseaseEpilepsyTinnitus
DwarfismADD & OCD

Go to the bottom of the page for answers

All these celebrities have some form of additional needs, but they have not prevented them from excelling in their respective fields. Just because someone has some form of additional needs, it should not stop them from joining in and pursuing things that they are interested in.

To run activities in your section that will help to explore the themes of Disabilities have a look at the following badges:

Beavers: Disability AwarenessCommunity Impact
Cubs: Disability AwarenessCommunity Impact
Scouts: WorldCommunity Impact

Additional Needs and Inclusion

Additional needs and disabilities should not prevent a young person from being able to participate in Scouting. By making reasonable adjustments most young people can access Scouting and develop to their full potential. Most adjustments take the form of adding something to or removing something from the activity. Adjustments could include:

  • Altering a game’s rules to make it no contact
  • Providing one to one support
  • Having one young person read the instructions for another
  • Having different food options available

Activity 3

Have a look at the following term programme and decide what, if any, adjustments may be needed to overcome the scenarios listed below.

Week One: Harvest festival
Location: HQ
Bring in a selection of fruit and vegetables; Colony discusses where food is grown and how it gets to shops

Week Two: Dinosaur models
Location: HQ
Make paper mache models on wire coat-hanger frames, decorate with poster paint

Week Three: Scavenger hunt
Location: Woods
Collect a variety of leaves and twigs from the woods to compare & spot differences, think about seasons

Week Four: Puppet storytelling
Location: HQ
Create finger puppets and use them to tell well-known stories using puppet theatre

Week Five: Visit a Synagogue
Location: Synagogue
Look at the key features of the building and explore Judaism

Week Six: Making biscuits
Location: Kitchen
Make biscuits and ice them

Scenarios
  1. You have a young person who is on the autism spectrum and will need additional support to understand and follow instructions.
  2. You are planning your camp and a young person who is Jewish and follows a kosher diet will be coming along. The young person will also need time and space to pray during the event.
  3. You have a young person who wears a headscarf in your group. Are there are considerations you need to make to ensure everything is inclusive in the Programme?
  4. You have three young people with glasses in your group.
  5. You have one young person who can’t eat wheat and one young person who has asthma.

Further information

There are some very useful resources to help ensure a Scouting programme is inclusive for all. These include:

  • Deaf Friendly Scouting resource
  • A Million Hand’s resources: Mind, Leonard Cheshire, Guide Dogs
  • Refugee resources
  • Makaton promise
  • Alternative versions of the promise

These can all be found on scouts.org.uk

If you ever have any questions about specific situations relating to additional needs and inclusion then don’t be afraid to discuss it with an adult leader. Not knowing how to deal with certain circumstances at first is okay if you are open minded and willing to learn.

Conclusion

The Scout Association is committed to being inclusive of all young people. This means everyone is welcome regardless of how much money they have or where they come from, what their gender is or how they identify, what their sexual orientation is, whether they have a disability or mental health issue, and no matter what their religion is or whether they have one at all.

You should now be ready to do your best to support the inclusion and full participation of all young people in Scouting.

You can upload the evidence for this module to OSM – we’ll review what you have done and update your YL training.

Answers


What is diversity?

Promoting diversity in Scouting means that we welcome members from all and any backgrounds and celebrate what makes every person different.


What is inclusion?

When we talk about inclusion in Scouting, we are talking about the act of ensuring that Scouting is open to all and supporting anyone to overcome any barrier to participating in the Scouting programme.

As part of being inclusive, we need to ensure that our programme and meeting place is appropriate and that we have considered any additional needs members might have.

Celebrities Quiz

Jamie Laing: Tinnitus, the perception of noise or ringing in the ears.
Halle Berry: Type 2 Diabetes,  a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.
Daniel Radcliffe: Dyspraxia, a condition that makes it hard to plan and coordinate physical movement
Justin Timberlake: Attention Deficit Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Warwick Davis: Dwarfism – Warwick has a genetic condition called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED)
Selena Gomez: Lupus Disease, an autoimmune disease which causes symptoms like joint pain, tiredness and skin rashes
Michael Phelps: ADHD, a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless or may have trouble concentrating.
Susan Boyle: Epilepsy, a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.