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Reasonable adjustments

All volunteers should make reasonable adjustments so that Scouts is inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Reasonable adjustments should, as far as reasonably possible, remove or reduce the disadvantage faced by Scouts being inclusive to Disabled Young People.

Scouts use the social model of disability. Scouts believes that Disabled People are disabled by society and therefore it is the responsibility of the organisation to make changes to remove or reduce that disadvantage. Our commitment is outlined within Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR), chapter 2 Key Policies.

How to make reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments should respond to the needs of the individual and remove or reduce any barriers or support access, by making changes to;

  • Physical environment (eg. the meeting place)
  • The way things are done( eg. age range flexibility, the programme, routines)
  • The support provided (eg. equipment, adapting communication, the level of support)

There is a lot of flexibility in Scouts and in the Programme to ensure all young people can enjoy the adventure, this includes flexibility in badges and awards. Read more information about flexibility in Scouts

What is reasonable is dependent upon the effectiveness of the adjustment, whether it can actually be done; and the cost and resources available to the group at that time. Reasonable adjustments is a legal term which recognises that each group will have different practical resources to meet the needs of an individual young person.

For example, if a young person would benefit from the support of a regular 1:1 supporter to fully participate in Scouting, and their parent/carer is able to offer this level of support, it is reasonable that the group supports this adjustment. It would also be reasonable to try to recruit an adult volunteer with the required skills. However, if the parent/carer is not able to provide this support, a suitable volunteer cannot be recruited and so a professional carer is required as the 1:1, it would be unreasonable for the group to be expected to finance this level of support on a weekly basis.

Another example is, where a young person who uses a wheelchair joins the group, it is likely to be reasonable for the group to provide a moveable ramp. It is likely to be unreasonable for the group to provide an electronic lift due to cost, or to fit a permanent ramp if the group do not own the meeting place. If the group do not own the meeting place, it would be reasonable to ask the building owners to make the required access updates.

It's best practice to consider the reasonable adjustment framework every time a new member joins. Making reasonable adjustments is an on-going duty and should be regularly reviewed.

What is reasonable for the group is dependent upon the effectiveness of the adjustment, whether it can actually be done, the cost and the resources available to the group at that time. For example, making an adjustment which would cost the group a considerable amount of money would not be reasonable if it would require the group to take out a loan.

Reasonable Adjustments FAQ's

Adjustments to badges and awards

Reasonable adjustments should respond to the needs of the individual and remove or reduce any barriers or support access, by making changes.

Discover more about badges and awards

Parent/carer framework

Read our guidance on working in partnership with parents/carers.

Find out more