From the Commissioner: Making Scouting accessible

Hats off to the Palmetto Council for reaching out to the deaf community through Scouting! What an awesome opportunity for these kids. (Read about this great program here.)

As I think about it, I’m reminded of Scouting individuals who have reached out to groups of kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to join Scouting. At the urging of individual Scouters, most councils these days have multiple urban Scouting units. In addition to specialized units, there are many Scouts in traditional units who require special attention for any number of reasons.

Numerous Scouters have left a legacy in this area. One of my heroes is Jane Grossman (pictured above). I met Jane in the early 1990s at the Philmont Training Center, where she was combining her expertise in speech pathology, audiology and special education with her love for Scouting. She was teaching participants how to welcome special-needs kids into their dens and troops, as well as how to work with their districts and councils to adapt the program elements to ensure success for these youth. Thanks in large part to her efforts, and those of the National Disabilities Awareness Subcommittee, that much-needed information is now available to all Scout leaders across the nation. Because of Jane and many others like her, Scouting is available to more youth than ever.

Today, Jane continues as an active member of the Disabilities Awareness Subcommittee. That group works to help all of us reach out to youth who might not ever have the opportunity to participate in Scouting. Any youth can have a successful Scouting experience. All the information, training and materials are available to make that happen. And, just so you know, the subcommittee is happy to share that information with Scouting volunteers everywhere. Just drop an email to Disabilities.Awareness@scouting.org and get all the info you need.

Yours for better Scouting,

Ellie Morrison

National Commissioner

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