Universal Challenge

Making challenge courses accessible and usable for all

bullet Participant
bullet Facilitator
bullet Resources
bullet Site Accessibility
This is a photo of a group of people standing on a wooden beam in the woods‚ as they hold hands to keep their balance.
Activities and Adaptations

home > facilitator > activities & adaptations > ground-based initiatives

Ground Based Initiatives & Adaptations

There are many activities and adaptations that can be utilized when planning a universal challenge program. While this section only provides a limited list of these activities and adaptations‚ more activities can be found in books listed on the resource page.

Facilitating challenge activities or ropes courses requires the proper training and experience. Please do not attempt to replicate any of the following activities until you have received training from a reputable source.

Ground Based Initiatives

Ground based initiatives‚ as the name suggests‚ take place at ground level. Generally‚ these activities are used at the beginning of a program sequence to begin building rapport and trust among members of the group. These activities are an essential piece of the program because they lay the foundation and build the skills necessary to advance to the high and low ropes courses. Potential outcomes of these activities might be physical fitness‚ an understanding of the differences between cooperation and competition‚ an ability to solve problems within a group‚ etc…

Application Examples:

  • A physical education teacher might use some of the ground based initiatives in her classes to demonstrate the need for teamwork and effective communication.

  • A person working with youth at risk might use a ground based initiative to begin to build trust with participants before progressing to more risky challenges.

  • A wheelchair basketball team might use some ground activities to focus on setting goals for the upcoming season and establishing an action plan to get them where they want to go.

Bull Ring

In this photo a group of people are standing in a parking lot‚ one man sits in a wheelchair.  They are each holding a string connected to a ring with a ball balanced on top.
This group of participants work together to move a ball from one place to another with a bull ring.

Great Divide

This photo shows a group consisting of four women and two men‚ one utilizing a wheelchair‚ as they work through an activity called the Great Divide. The members of this group are holding hands or locking arms while they also keep their feet or wheels touching the person’ next to them as they try to move together around obstacles such as balls and stuffed toys that are lying on the ground in front of the group.
A group of challenge participants work on their communication and teamwork skills as they traverse the Great Divide.

Helium Hoop / Stick

This photo shows a woman in a wheelchair with four co-workers as they attempt to lower a stick to the ground using only their fingertips.
A group of participants works to lower a helium stick to the ground.


In this photo‚ a man sitting in a wheelchair and a girl standing next to him give verbal directions to their blindfolded teammate as she attempts to walk through a roped off area without touching any of the objects around her feet.
Group participants lead their teammate through the minefield.


Back to top >>