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Appointment of adults with disabilities

Scouting is committed to inclusion and diversity, and whilst reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure that adult volunteers with disabilities can take part in Scouting, the overriding consideration in appointments is the safety, security and development of our young people. In particular, the Appointments Advisory Committee (AAC) must be confident that they are appointing a 'fit and proper' person for the particular role.

Within these constraints, no person volunteering their services should receive less favourable treatment or suffer disadvantage due to their disability. This applies for both physical and mental disability.

Remember, while on role may not be appropriate, it is likely that there will be others ideally suited to their abilities and needs.

This guidance builds on the rules stated in our Equal Opportunities Policy, which can be found in the Key Policies within POR and the guidance for ACC's in 'Right People Right Roles'.

Do adults with disabilities have to follow the usual Appointments Process?

Yes. However, it is important that meetings are organised and conducted in an accessible manner. For example, this could be ensuring that the venue is accessible for a wheelchair user or using clear communication for a person with Asperger Syndrome. Ensure that a comfortable environment is provided, to enable a relaxed conversation about their support needs.

What do the Appointments Advisory Committee need to discuss at the approval meeting?

At the approval meeting, the AAC will need to consider whether an adult's disability will affect their ability to perform the role for which they have applied. Depending upon the circumstances, it may be appropriate to have a discussion with the adult in the approval meeting about their disability. This needs to be done sensitively with the best outcome for both the adult and the young people as the main consideration.

What does a 'fit and proper' person mean?

The AAC must be confident that they are appointing a 'fit and proper' person for the particular role. For example, for a role involving contact with young people, the applicant must have the ability to understand and follow our safeguarding policy and procedures. It might help to consider whether the person is able to complete the modules of the Adult training Scheme required for the role, considering the range of learning methods, the need to offer reasonable adjustments and the support that a Training Adviser could offer.

What is a 'reasonable adjustment' that could enable someone to volunteer?

It is necessary for reasonable adjustments to be made to enable people with disabilities to volunteer. An example of this may be putting white tape on the edges of the steps to help a partially sighted person to get in and out of the buildings, using alternative training venues and/or methods or fixing ramps to give access for people using wheelchairs.

Through the AAC's discussions at the approval meeting, it may become evident that adjustments are needed. Their line manager may be able to provide information to assess whether the adjustments can be reasonably achieved.

In some circumstances it might be helpful for the AAC to agree a date for a review (by the appropriate line manager) of the support offered, as well as for their role review. This will help to ensure that the role is suited to them, and will encourage them to feel included in Scouting.

What if there is not a suitable role in Scouting?

It is important that any reasonable adjustments that could be made and the full breadth of roles available in Scouting have been considered.

In some cases, there may not be a suitable role, and it may be appropriate to sign post the person to other organisations. 


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