Jennifer is a volunteer in our Scout Programs. Jennifer is an adult who is developmentally disabled. A developmental disability is defined as a life long disability causing the physical and/or mental impairment of an individual. This impairment becomes apparent before the age of 22.
Impairment can range from severe to mild. Cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and Down’s syndrome are a few of the specific impairments which are considered developmental disabilities.
Jennifer is a functional adult who is mildly mentally impaired. Jennifer was a Scout when she was a youth and wanted more than anything to continue to be involved in the Scout Movement in some way. She contacted several organizations and was told she could not become involved or to call back at another time. Jennifer pressed the issue and called several different organizations, following up when she was told to call back. Unfortunately, she was eventually told she was “annoying” the people who worked there and was reportedly even told the police would visit her if she continued to press the matter.
Heartbroken and embarrassed, Jennifer did not know what to do. She was being told she could not participate, but that was something she really wanted to do, and felt she was capable of doing. Jennifer even wrote an article expressing her frustration, only to continue to be ignored.
When we heard about Jennifer, we invited her to be a volunteer with our Scout Programs and immediately found a place for her. Jennifer may not be able to do everything, but she has a lot to give. She is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people we know and puts a smile on our faces everyday. Jennifer did not deserve to be treated rudely, and has a home doing exactly what she wants to do. We are proud to count Jennifer as a member of our family.