The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities and special needs is that they want most to participate like other youth—and Scouting gives them that opportunity. Thus, much of the program for Scouts with disabilities and special needs is directed at (1) helping unit leaders develop an awareness of disabled people among youth without disabilities and (2) encouraging the inclusion of Scouts with disabilities and special needs in Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships.
There are many units, however, composed of members with similar disabilities or special needs—such as an all-sight-impaired Boy Scout troop or an all-hearing-impaired Cub Scout pack—but these members are encouraged to participate in Scouting activities at the district, council, area, regional, and national levels along with other youth. Many of these special Scouting units are located in special schools or centers that make the Scouting program part of their curriculum.
The Laurel Highlands Council is currently in the process of establishing a distict to serve people with disabilities and special needs. Watch this site for more information in the coming months. If you have questions about Scouting with disabilities and special needs, please contact Darla DiGiovanni at 412.325.7994.