Wheelchair Obstacle Course

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For those not usually in wheelchairs, this activity can raise awareness of architectural obstacles and mobility challenges faced by wheelchair users. For those who regularly use wheelchairs, this activity offers recreation. Fundraising and philanthropy could be built into the project: e.g., entry fees could fund the donation of a wheelchair to someone who needs it, or the construction of a ramp for a community building.

Group Size


Wheelchairs for participants who do not usually use them. Solicit loans from vendors, research groups, health clinics or hospitals. Build a course with ramps, boxes, flags . . . various materials. Refer to resources online, including this excellent one planned, created, tested, and shared as a girl scout project. Alternatively, define a section of a park, playground, or city block that includes ramps, curbs, gates, and other possible obstacles.

Set Up

Test for safety. Train some people to be "spotters" to be able to help at difficult spots. Participants can be divided into teams of any size, or each person can do the course individually. Teams can include "coaches" and/or cheerleaders near each station. People with know-how in using wheelchairs can prepare others with training on maneuvering techniques.


This can be a race, with each team or person being timed. Or people can get a prize or applause as they "pass" each obstacle.


Discussions could include the similarity or differences of "real" obstacles in the world compared to those constructed for the course.The team can then make plans to help modify the environment: lobby for change, provide labor or funds for necessary construction . . .


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