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Disability Awareness badge


Mod and wearer of many hats!!
Staff member
we have done this badge before. and at first i thought the girls wouldn'r enjoy it, but they did!
deaf awareness
*finger spelling of names.some of our girls had done this before at school, but they all got it in the end
*activity where you cant hear properly - we played ships shores port starboard, with half wearing ear defenders, and then switched over afterwards

Sight Awareness
* our UH had a friend of a friend who was visually impaired, so he came to talk to the girls, and shoed us all the different 'gadgets' he had, like the white stick, a coin sorter thing, and the coloured shaped buttons that completely blind people use. he also showed us some braille, and then showed us how you would approach a visually impaired person.

Mobility Awareness
*they talked about wheelchair accessibility and went for a walk down the road (which has library, shops etc. and they pointed out what would be easy and what would be difficult.
*they played chair handball, where everyone was sat down and couldn't move from their chair (as if in a wheelchair). and also played some games that requied no mobility - such as chinese whispers.

for part 2 i think we just had a pow-wow where they discussed some other illnesses (as one of our ass. guiders at the time worked as a nurse she could answer most of the girls questions)
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Brownie Guider and Forum Moderater
Hi ive done this badge with my unit, and also helped other units do theirs. I think it works well if you do some parts of each sections ie aware of mobility issues, deaf issues and sighted problems. But you can also do all parts of one section.

I found taking lots of mobility aids wheelchairs/sticks/cruthes etc and letting girls see how they work and difficultes you can have using them makes them very much more aware of challenges rather than you just telling them. Easy for me to do when your house looks like a mobility show room! If you can find someone who would come talk to them so they can ask questions i highly recommend it.

I also taught them some signs and alphabet in BSL there are lots of different resources around again if you can find someone who can come teach them confidently all the better.

We did an evening with differnt challenges if you had problems wiht sight including a course with things in way/step over around and girls worked in pairs with sighted partner whilst blindfolded to compelte which they really enjoyed. Again having to put your self in another persons shoes really helps them to see how they can be aware and sensitve to other peoples needs.

Do you have any centres for independant living near you? They might be able to put you in touch with local groups/organizations who would be happy to come and talk to unit.

I guess dont be afraid of asking people with disabilites to talk about their experiences most people would be more than happy to do this, would rather answer questions from children than let them grow up in adults who are ignorant and just stare or have silly misconceptions. Good luck!


Veteran (100+ posts)
As always Vogue and I would be willing to come in and so they could see an Assistant dog (mobility) and talk about different kinds of disabilities.



Veteran (100+ posts)
Anna! I didn't realise you were on here! :)

Anyway back to the point, people with disabilities I've found are actually quite enjoy coming in, one of my friends who uses hearing aids came in when we did it and the girls loved seeing her ipod 'headphones' which don't go in her ears and her fire alarm pager etc.

We often learn the promise in BSL, which can be found on the BOGUK site, the girls all really enjoyed doing that.

I think this is such a worthwhile badge to do, we had just finished it and the next week we had a girl start in a wheelchair by coincidence and the girls were brilliant!


Veteran (100+ posts)
We've done this badge. We did blind testing - whilst blind folded they have to identify things they are eating, identify things by smell and touch. also I recorded sounds and they had to identify what it was. good fun.


Guide and Ranger Guider
Staff member
do any of your guides have disabilities? one of our guides was very happy to tell people about dyslexia and dyspraxia which she and her sister have?

also we did an audit of our HQ and it was very interesting to see what the girls picked up.


Beginner (10+ posts)
I did this with my brownies last term.

We had a cousin of one of the Brownies come and teach British sign language, and a partcially deaf brother of one of the Browines also came to explain the diffculties etc. I was going to teach them kum-by-ar in BSL but run out of time.

For blind I kind of cheated a little and took along some of my Guinea Pigs who are "Optically challenged" 1 who lost an eye but still has one, 1 who was born with only one (we have two of these but took only one), 1 who is totally blind but does have one eye, one who has no eyes, so is totally blind, and one fully sighted piggie. I explained to the Brownies that although they all have sight issues (except the sighted piggie Onyx), their needs are a little different. For example, Pret who lost an eye but can still see has no depth perception at all and still thinks he has two eyes. Gabriel, who has one eye but is totally blind needs to be let know what is going on, he uses his ears a lot more, but because he has an eye its not obvious he can't see. Mikyla, the girl with no eyes, somewhat the same as Gabriel, but her disability is obvious from either side. The girls all enjoyed the fact that they got to hold the piggies, and ask questions about them. I also showed the Brownies the different toys that they have, and also showed them the difference between Onyx (sighted pig's) hearing, and Gabriel and Mikyla's hearing.

We also had an ex Brownie come to talk about her wheat allergy. Although this is not a disability in the given sense, it is really when you have to read every packet you pick up, because if you don't it will make you ill.

We will be having the Guide Dogs in at some point, which I think they will then see how blind humans can use these animals, and link it into the work we did with my Guineas.
As we have several brownies with disabilities we spent a lot of time on this badge and the brownies loved it, particularly the deaf awareness

The activity pack available free from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has been updated this year - the pack is now on CD with activities suitable for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides about sign language, finger spelling, how the ear works etc as well as the usual competitions. Just email togsfordogs@hearingdogs.org.uk to request your pack (bit more info on the website here: http://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/about_news.php)

Our Brownies loved the finger spelling so much we taught them some Makaton and they signed their song at the Christmas concert in December


The Doctor (5000+ posts)
Guide dogs for the blind sent us a DVD and a friend gave me a statement about how much her dog had benefited her life.

The RNID do a brownie pack - you just need to call them up. The RNID also supply free stuff like finger spelling cards. You can get a teaching resource free from hearing dogs for the deaf.

We taught the girls not just to finger spell their name but how to say in sign language " my name is ......." and "I live in ......" (but my degree was in deaf studies so that was easy for me).

We did a braille activity that involved egg boxes, marbles and photocopies of the braille alphabet.

Also we had someone come in with various mobility aids and she had designed games that allowed the girls to experience using them.


Brownie Guider
we are doing this over next term.

we are doing a feely bag to identify common objects, blindfolded jelly eating, braille names, dress a doll blindfolded and do a survey of our meeting place for disability suitability.

there was other stuff as well but that is all i can think. we are going to see if we can get a guide dog or a hearing dog to come in.
Could you please advise what I could do with our pack for part 2 of the disability awareness badge. I've searched the internet with no success.

Could you please advise how to answer part 2 of the disability awareness badge. We have a pack of over 30 girls. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



Veteran (100+ posts)
I think you're talking about the part where the Brownies have to learn about two other disabilities. We started the badge with a large sheet for each Six. In the middle, they wrote "What is Disability?" and surrounded it with a bubble. From there, the Brownies added their own ideas of disability - some right and some wrong. We used this as a basis for discussion.

Learning disabilites were mentioned, and as I have a son with Down's syndrome, it was easy to link in. Most of the Brownies have met him, so they already knew that he has poor speech, uses a wheelchair, etc.

One Brownie has a nan with epilepsy, so we talked briefly about that as well. There is a boy with autism in the same class as another Brownie. From these examples, the Brownies found that disabilities are not always visible - an important point that I feel is sometimes missed.

The Brownies seemed to enjoy a discussion about different disabilities. It was also a good time to explain that a broken leg isn't a disability as such, although it is disabling, we usually mean something more permanant. I did say that it could be classed as a temporary disability though.

I think that we covered enough to meet the requirements of the badge. It generated discussion and awareness, which is the point. It was also quite interesting to see what the Brownies knew and what they didn't know.


you dont need to do clause 2 unless you want them to get a second dissability awareness badge
see the box just below the clause
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my message. It's much appreciated. I can certainly use the different points that you have mentioned. It's great that we can ask other guiders for help via this website.

Thanks again

Beth Gibby

Beginner (10+ posts)
i am doing the badge with my brownies
i work in a special needs school so have some experience in the area what would you suggest
about the blindness bit of the badge i am a bit stuck with what to do


Veteran (100+ posts)
I went to Brownies to teach them fingerspelling and Brownie Bells in BSL. We talked about disabilities and I told them I have 2 disabilities, which they were all shocked at - I have a bowel problem which can cause catastrophic instant need for toilet, and I have had depression for 25 years. Linked depression to the dementors in Harry Potter, and they all 'got it'.