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Inclusion for Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Colorado
offers the

Include All Girls Patch Program.

Inclusion for Girl Scouts


In-clu-sion (in-kloo-zhun), n – an attitude and approach that seeks to ensure that every person, regardless of ability or background, can meaningfully participate in all aspects of life.
– Paths To Inclusion

Girl Scouts of Colorado, in conjunction with GSUSA, has made a commitment to foster the inclusion of girls with disabilities in the Girl Scout movement.

Inclusion is a philosophy and a belief that individuals with disabilities have a right to belong and participate meaningfully and actively alongside their peers in everyday life. Inclusion practices have proven to be advantageous for everyone. It is a value that we must all advocate for and share. Inclusion is an open pathway to build girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. Please use the resources on this page to help you get started on the journey toward inclusion within your troop.

Learn more about the Include All Girls patch program by clicking the link at right.

Tips for leaders

  • Welcome all girls with a letter. Ask for information from parents about ideas or techniques that will help their girl feel comfortable and be more successful.
  • Focus on ability not disability.
  • During one of your first meetings, ask the girls to make cardboard name tent. After decorating the outside with their name tell them to write or draw three things that they want you (leader) to know about them. Let them know this information will not be shared.
  • Help girls develop an advocacy plan. An advocacy plan is a document that a person with a disability completes to define her disability and identify individual needs. 
  • Identify what accommodations, if any, the child might need. An accommodation is any item or action that helps the individual fit in and fully participate.
  • Consider doing the Include All Girls Patch program.
  • We know you aren’t classroom teachers, but here is a link to great resource on working with kids with special needs.

People-First Language

Say Instead of
People with disabilities The handicapped or disabled
Bob has autism He’s autistic
Pat has a cognitive disability She’s mentally retarded
Al has Down syndrome He’s Down’s; a Down’s person
Carla’s of short stature She’s a midget
Bryon has a mental health diagnosis He’s emotionally disturbed/mentally ill
Sandy uses a wheelchair/mobility chair She’s confined to a wheelchair
Doug receives Special Education services He’s in special ed
Children without disabilities/typically Normal or healthy children developing
Sara communicates with her eyes/device She is non-verbal
Beth has a brain injury She is brain damaged
Accessible parking, hotel room, etc Handicapped parking, hotel room etc.

Useful Websites


Different & Alike - by Nancy P. McConnell
Kids Explore the Gifts of Children with Special Needs - By Westridge Young Writers Workshop, ISBN 1-56261-156-9
Basic Manuals for Friends of the Disabled - By Hannah Carlson, M.Ed, C.R.C.
Special needs/disabilities series, Set of 6

"Inclusion is much more than a place to go. It is a value to be lived."
- Jennifer York