This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Abilities Digest.
Did you know?
The Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge is not the low badge on the totem pole, so to speak. Although many of us would like to see it as a required badge, it does have a fair ranking in the grand scheme of merit badge acquisition.
In 2019, the Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge was number 80 out of 137 on the list of merit badges earned. Last year, a total of over 5,900 of the badges were earned. Bugling had the fewest earned at 452 and First Aid had the most at over 62,000. If you think of how many First Aid Meets there have been around the country, it’s no wonder that First Aid tops all.
Disabilities awareness is essential to understanding how to work and live with all people. If we would like to see this merit badge be more popular, we really need to work on making it more popular in our councils and districts. After all, probably many of us live, work, and/or play with people who have a disability, known or unknown to us. How can we ramp up the popularity of this badge? Exposure and interactive activities are a beginning! Set the goal of making progress in your districts and councils and watch the numbers continue to grow!