Language is important when leading Scouts with special needs

Scoutmaster in front of tentsWe never call Scouts with special needs “special-needs Scouts.” Why, you ask?

That’s because word choice matters, and Scouters on the Disabilities Awareness Committee recommend using person-first language that describes what a person has, not who a person is.

“Even though it does get a bit wordy and awkward in everyday speech,” committee chairman Tony Mei says, “this emphasizes the personhood of the individual and places the disability as a secondary condition that the individual must live with.”

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