Disabilities Awareness Belt Loop Requirements

Cub Scouts Disabilities Awareness Academics Belt Loop and Pin

Cub Scouts Disabilities Awareness Academics Belt Loop and Pin

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2009 requirements
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Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may complete requirements in a family, den, pack, school, or community environment. Tiger Cubs must work with their parents or adult partners. Parents and partners do not earn loops or pins.

Requirements for the Disabilities Awareness Belt Loop

Complete these three requirements:
  1. Visit with a friend, family member, classmate, or other person with disabilities. Find out what this person enjoys and what this person finds difficult.
  2. Attend a disabilities event such as an Easter Seals event, Special Olympics, a performance with sign language interpretation, an activity with Guiding Eyes dogs, or a wheelchair race. Tell your adult leader what you thought about the experience.
  3. Make a display about one or more disabilities. It can include physical, learning, or mental challenges. Share the display at a pack meeting.

Requirements for the Disabilities Awareness Pin

Earn the Disabilities Awareness belt loop, and complete five of the following requirements:
  1. People with disabilities move around in different ways such as as crutches, scooters, and wheelchairs. Explain the differences. With an adult's supervision and permission, try to safely use one.
  2. Using sign language, demonstrate the Cub Scout Promise and motto.
  3. Read a book about a person with a disability.
  4. Explain how your school helps students with disabilities (elevators, ramps, small classes, special tools and equipment, specialized teachers).
  5. Describe one of the following and its purpose: occupational therapy, speech therapy, or physical therapy. Visit with a person who works in one of these fields and learn about his or her position.
  6. Read about a famous person who has been physically or mentally challenged. Report what you learned to your den or family.
  7. For two one-hour periods, and with adult supervision, go about your normal routine doing chores, watching television, studying, etc. Change your abilities by using one of these experiences, then share what you learned with your den:
    • Hearing impairment - Muffle your ears with earmuffs or bandages.
    • Sight impairment - Blindfold one or both eyes.
    • Physical impairment - Bind an arm or leg so that it cannot be used.
    • Speaking impairment - Cover your mouth or do not speak.
    • Choose an impairment of your own that is approved by an adult.
  8. Look at a catalog and find three items that could help a person with disabilities in their daily life. Explain how each item would help the individual.
  9. Volunteer and help someone with disabilities in school, sports or another supervised activity.
  10. Visit a nursing home or elderly person and help someone with a meal.
  11. Talk to someone who works with people who have disabilities. Ask what the personís position is like and how he or she helps people with disabilities.

Disabilities Awareness Online Resources

  1. American Association of People with Disabilities
  2. Ameican Foundation for the Blind
  3. The Arc of the United States
  4. Autism Society of America
  5. Autism Speaks
  6. Easter Seals
  7. Federation for Children with Special Needs
  8. Guide Dogs for the Blind
  9. International Dyslexia Association
  10. Muscular Dystrophy Association
  11. National Alliance on Mental Illness
  12. National Association of the Deaf
  13. National Center for Learning Disabilities
  14. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
  15. Special Olympics International
  16. United Cerebral Palsy
  17. Council for Disability Awareness
  18. All Kids Can
  19. American Sign Language

Disabilities Awareness Worksheet

 Feb 13, 2013 - jim schlinsog
the disability simulation activity is not the best source of learning for kids.  remember that people with disabilities have grown up performing their daily routines in a normal fashion.  simulating that experience, even briefly, typically backfires as it becomes a source of jokes and can perpetuate stereotypes that individuals with disabilities are not as capable.  please consider amending the program as such.

jim schlinsog
tiger den leader pack 3609, oshkosh, wisconsin

assistant dean of students and coordinator of services for students with disabilities, uw oshkosh
Apr 30, 2013 - Erin
Times are ever evolving and the good news is they are changes for the better.  I am the proud mother of a 7 year old Tiger Cub who will soon cross over to Wolf. I am also the proud mother of a 3 year old son who was blessed with Down syndrome. I encourage The Scout organization to amend #6 on the pin requirement. Referring to a person as mentally challenged is not acceptable any more.  Today, it is preferred to utilize the words Intelectual Disability.  Please change the wording on number 6 to respect this group of human beings. An organization of your size and position in the communtity holds a great responsibilty to stay in touch with these changes.  I am confident The Boy Scouts will work to make these changes.
Nov 12, 2013 - Crystal
For requirement #1 - "Visit with a friend, family member, classmate, or other person with disabilities. Find out what this person enjoys and what this person finds difficult."

What if the Cub Scout IS the one with the disability? Would it be acceptable to have the boy talk with someone about what he likes, and what he finds difficult?
Nov 12, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Crystal - In my view, everyone has special abilities and disabilities.  The intent of this topic is to help a scout be aware of the disabilities of other people.  A scout with a disability can still raise his awareness of the challenges and joys of others that may have similar or different disabilities.  
So, no, I don't feel that would fulfill the requirement.
Jun 24, 2014 - Ben Myers
As a person with disabilities myself, and a four-year summer camp counselor for this belt loop and pin, I have a few suggestions for revising these requirements.
I would recommend removing Requirement 9 of the pin. In a program designed to help young Scouts realize that people with disabilities are, in fact, people, it seems detrimental to require the Scout to help someone with disabilities. Requirement 9 overlooks the fact that people with disabilities don't always need/want help.
Also, the Disabilities Awareness MERIT BADGE has an excellent requirement that I feel should be added--Requirement 1. It requires that Scouts learn etiquette and person-first, which should really be the whole goal of a Disabilities program. People KNOW what disabilities are out there, and the Scouts do, too. They DON'T know the etiquette, or how to treat people with disabilities as people.

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