DisAbilities Resources

We believe that all Scouts need to have the greatest opportunity for participation, inclusion, and advancement in Scouting. Our program for Scouts with disAbilities is directed at helping unit leaders, Scouts, and parents develop awareness and encourage the inclusion of Scouts with disAbilities. The BSA has specific accommodations designed to allow each Scout to realize their full potential. 

The mission of the Northeast Illinois Council DisAbilities Awareness Committee is to provide individuals with special needs the opportunity to participate in the Boy Scouts of America’s all-inclusive Scouting Program. The CDAC’s Vision is to raise awareness and thereby create opportunities for inclusion of individuals with special needs while providing support, resources, and education to Scouts, parents, and leaders.

The CDAC Provides:

  • Training for individuals and units on special needs awareness and resources
  •  Support for special needs families and Scouts
Contact the CDAC here to learn more about their resources or if you have questions about special needs Scouting. 
Advancement & Registering Beyond the Age of Eligibility
Alternative Advancement Requirements

If your scout has a special need or disability that may cause them to need extra time or alternative requirements to earn advancements, please refer to Section of the BSA Guide to Advancement. Final determinations are made by the NEIC’s Advancement Committee. For questions and to request alternative requirements, contact our advancement committee here.

Registering Beyond the Age of Eligibility

Youth and adults who are developmentally disabled, or youth with severe physical challenges, may be considered for registration beyond the age of eligibility for their program: age 11 or older for a Cub Scout, 18 or older for a Scouts BSA member, or 21 or older as a Venturer or Sea Scout. It is not necessary for Scouts to wait until reaching the end of the age eligibility for their program to submit the request. An adult of any age who has developmental disabilities, for example, may be considered for youth membership and join Scouting if a qualified medical professional is able to correlate cognitive abilities to less than the upper limit of an eligibility age. To learn more about the Age of Eligibility and for a list of required documents, click here.

National Training Resources

The BSA National DisAbilities Awareness Committee’s Resource Library contains extensive content including information on advanced training, Special Needs program considerations, and more.


The Northeast Illinois Council owns complete beep baseball and beep kickball sets. These sports work the same as they normally do, except the participants are blindfolded! Certain members of the team can see and must direct blindfolded players to help them win. Beep Ball puts Scouts in the position of someone who is visually impaired while teaching them teamwork and concentration. To rent our this equipment and schedule a training, contact Betsy Uzzell.


Do you know a scout or adult leader who has gone above and beyond in service to Special Needs Scouting? You can nominate them for the Torch of Gold Award here.