People Needed to Organize:
One-Two (Physical Education Teacher, Teaching Assistants)People Needed to Carry Out:
At least six (6) students, volunteersRecommended Setting(s):
Gymnasium, outdoors, hallway Materials Needed:
Manual wheelchairs, guide canes, obstacles
(e.g., cones, chairs, ladder, student’s legs, stairs)Time Needed:
To experience what a person with a physical or sensory disability goes through on a daily basis while moving around in school.
- Survey the school to find ways that the school itself can be used to demonstrate obstacles for someone in a wheelchair.
- Set up obstacles for the students to navigate around while blindfolded or using a wheelchair (examples: moving through student filled hallways, finding an accessible entrance, picking up things off of the ground or reaching objects that are up high.)
- Set up a specific route through/around the school or classroom that includes various obstacles, have a specific goal in mind such as retrieving a book from the library or getting their lunch in the cafeteria.
- Schedule the activity, secure equipment, and plan logistics.
Step By Step Description:
- Explain the activity to the students and demonstrate how to use a guide cane and wheelchair.
- Have students maneuver a wheelchair or use a guide cane to navigate through the obstacles set up around the classroom or school. The other students should either watch or participate by becoming an obstacle (for example: a crowded hallway).
- After the activity bring the students back together and have them discuss what they experienced and what they learned from the activity.
Authors: Elementary School Work Group
- What are two words that describe how you felt during the activity? Go around the room and have each student share his/her two words.
- What did you think about while trying to move around in the wheelchair?
- Was it easy to get around the obstacles while blindfolded and using a guide cane?
- Did it take longer to complete activities while you were in a wheelchair or blindfolded?