New Brunswick - Youth With Special Challenges


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award encourages and supports the participation of youth with cognitive disabilities in areas including: academics, communication, decision making, functional skills, time usage, self concept/esteem, sexuality and social skills.   Students will leave the programme more self-reliant with regard to taking care of their personal needs and surroundings.  They will be better equipped to make a successful transition to the work force or other structured community settings.


Teachers (acting leaders) incorporate The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award into their class so that activities they have done from September to June can be used for completion of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Bronze, Silver and Gold.

cooking, communication (for some basic reading, for others it may be basic printing), music appreciation through music therapy, arts and crafts, woodworking, tole painting etc.

: swimming, walking, bowling, gymnasium time, aerobics and etc.

school recycling program, delivering absentee forms to office, helping with various activities around school like setting up chairs, group/class clean up projects,visiting seniors etc.

: This section can have modification.  Some of these youth can have major physical conditions that prevent them from taking part in many expeditions. Also, some of these youth have never spent a night away from their parents.  Obviously, the challenges are different in this section as compared to that of the average participant.  However, they still do the very basics in preliminary training.  It is conducted at their cognitive level.  They are still expected to do the minimum times i.e one night/two days away from home and they are expected to take part in as many aspects of the planning and preparation as well as immerse themselves in all activities on the actual trip.  The locations however are usually cottages, cabins or part of Tim Horton’s Camp over the summer.


Some of the youth may not be able to complete all four sections of the Award. They may only be able to complete one or two of the sections. The Award still recognizes what the participant is able to complete, and a special certificate outlining the different sections completed is given, along with a special colored pin. We really want to encourage all special youth to take part in the Award!
Because The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program compliments what the teachers are doing, all students who register in September can complete their Award by June.  The teacher/leader support in day to day and all activities that were being done anyway are now being expanded upon documented and used for “Duke Credit”  At the end of the school year these young people now have something tangible to show for their efforts.  They may not have a report card, but they have their journals, record books, their pins and certificates and many wonderful memories!

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program has had much success already with youth with special challenges and hopes to continue to receive new participants!

For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and youth with special challenges click here.