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special needs scouting

Resources by Disability

This page points to resources that relate to specific diagnoses and types of need:


National Center on Accessibility

  • The National Center on Accessibility (NCA) is a program of Indiana University’s Department of Recreation and Park Administration in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service, Office on Accessibility.

Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

  • Provides do-it-yourself tests, training, guidance and professional contacts.

Behavior Management for ADD/ADHD

  • 12 key points to guide leaders in dealing with children with ADD/ADHD.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)

  • CHADD is a national organization that provides a support network for parents, continuing education about attention deficits, and resources to help children with attention deficits in educational settings.

A Nurse’s ADHD Resource Library

  • Provides a variety of useful resources about ADHD.

Dove Christian Academy

  • Dove specializes in teaching children with dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD with a Christ-centered academic education

How to help Scouts with ADHD succeed — without hurting anyone’s feelings


Autism and Scouting

  • A website dedicated to autism and Scouting–including training, training kits, Internet radio, etc.

AutismNOW Transition Planning

  • Guidance on making the transition from school to employment and adult life.

Autism Society of America

  • The mission of the Autism Society of America is to promote lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the autism spectrum and their families, to be fully included, participating members of their communities through advocacy, public awareness

Autism Society of Colorado

  • The Autism Society of Colorado provides local contacts and resources not available through the national site.

Career Assistance for People with Autism

  • Considers rights, financial aid, resume writing, getting assistance and finding a job that’s a good fit.

Firefly Autism

  • A nonprofit devoted to inspiring bright futures for children with autism from the ages of 18 months to 18 years. Their learning treatment programs are delivered at our Denver Firefly Autism House in full or half day programs as well as in the home and schools throughout Colorado through our Firefly Autism Outreach team. They provide the full range of therapy treatments, assessments, clinical and consultation services as well as program development.


  • More resources on autism from the federal government.

Myths about Autism

This article explores common myths about autism:

  • Individuals with autism are emotionless
  • They prefer to stay isolated
  • They are prone to violence
  • Individuals on the spectrum are all gifted
  • Individuals on the spectrum are intellectually impaired
  • Vaccines cause autism
  • Children get autism from bad parenting
  • If you know someone with autism, you’re an expert
  • Individuals with autism are uncaring and selfish
  • Autism is an epidemic
  • Children with autism cause their parents to divorce
  • A child with a few autistic behaviors must have autism
  • Behaviors in those with autism will last forever

Gwen Vogelzang’s Website

Gwen is a Denver area mother to a boy who thrives and struggles with both Autism and Tourette Syndrome. Her website seeks to build community and an online network for special needs parents and adoptive parents. Part of that mission is to identify Denver area recreational resources available to local families.

Cerebral Palsy

The Birth Injury Center

  • An overview of this disability.

Cerebral Palsy Guide

  • A general guide for families with youths that have cerebral palsy.

Ability Connection (previously Colorado Cerebral Palsy)

  • Serves families of Coloradans having cerebral palsy and other special needs.


Developmental Disorders

Development Disabilities Resource Center

  • The DDRC offers a wide variety of resources relating to developmental disabilities including a comprehensive glossary.


American Diabetes Association Colorado

  • American Diabetes Association Colorado offers programs in diabetes prevention and management.

Down Syndrome

Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association

  • Seeks to ensure independence and inclusion of those with Down Syndrome.

Hearing Impairment

Overview of Sign Language from SoundApex

  • Learn about the fundamentals of sign language: history, benefits, an introduction to ASL and software applications.

American Sign Language Browser

  • From Michigan State University’s ASL Browser web site, an online American Sign Language (ASL) browser where you can look up video of thousands of ASL signs and learn interesting things about them.

Space Camp for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students

  • Interested in Space Camp? You Definitely can! U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf have teamed up to provide the world’s most unique space and aviation experiences for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities Special Needs Roundtable Presentation

  • This presentation by Katie Johansen, M.A., Manager of Learning Services at Children’s Hospital Colorado provides much helpful information about learning disabilities with references to online and printed resources.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

  • The IDA is an international, non-profit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia.

Guide to Overcoming Dyslexia

  • Provides resources for students, teachers and the general public.

Learning Disabilities Online

  • LD Online is an interactive guide to learning disabilities for parents, teachers, and children. LD OnLine is the official site of The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities. LD Online provides articles on a wide range of topics.

Learning Disabilities Association of America

  • LDA has 50 state affiliates and over 775 local chapters and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families, to alleviating the restricting effects of learning disabilities.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

  • The NCLD provides information, services, and programs for children and adults with learning disabilities, their families, educators, and other professionals. The NCLD Web site provides a database of state resources, educational programs, etc.

Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD)

  • The CLD is an international organization that promotes strategies for research and practice through collaboration and advocacy.

Mental Retardation

The Champions Program: Achieving Self-Sufficiency

  • The special-needs curriculum teaches youth with mental disabilities/challenges the life skills they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

The Arc

  • Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States is the country’s largest voluntary organization committed to the welfare of all children and adults with mental retardation and their families.


National Stuttering Association

  • If you are a stutterer, a parent of a child or teen who stutters, or a speech-language pathologist, teacher or other professional who works with people who stutter you will want to take advantage of these helpful opportunities and benefits.

Tics and Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.

  • The Tourette Syndrome Association is the only national organization dedicated to providing up-to-date, accurate information about Tourette Syndrome.

Visual Impairment


  • Boy Scout Handbook and merit badge pamphlets are accessible by online library through a partnership with BookShare.

National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

  • A free national library program of Braille and recorded materials for blind and physically handicapped persons is administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress.

Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students

  • Space Camp is a week-long camp that takes place at the US Space and Rocket Center in Hunstville, Alabama. The word “camp” truly understates the EXPERIENCE of Space Camp. Students live in a simulated space station called Habitat 1.

BSA Publications for the Visually Impaired

  • Boys’ Life Magazine in Braille, Library of Congress for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Washington, DC, 800.424.8567 or Volunteer Service for the Blind, Philadelphia, PA, 215.627.0600
  • Recordings the Boy Scout Handbook and various merit badge pamphlets. Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, Princeton, NJ, 800.221.4792
  • Boy Scout Handbook in Braille. The Lighthouse of Houston, Houston, TX, 713.527.9561
  • Boy Scout Handbook and other Scout literature in large print and Braille. American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, KY, 800.223.1839