Universal Challenge

Making challenge courses accessible and usable for all

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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

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Low Challenge Course Activities & Adaptations

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.

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.

Low Challenge Course

Low ropes course elements are activities that take place close to the ground‚ but might involve spotters to ensure the safety of individuals. These activities are mainly used to promote learning through experience in a team or group atmosphere. A group of people or an individual would be given the challenge of the particular element and once they complete the activity‚ debriefing would follow to capture meaning. Potential outcomes when using a low ropes course could include an increase in communication between members of a group or realization of how to be efficient and productive within the group.

Application Examples:

  • A physical therapist might use a low ropes course element to work on balance with a patient or provide them with challenges to help with many other therapy goals.

  • A group of executives from a corporation might utilize a low ropes course to focus in on a goal and set benchmarks for the process.

  • A soccer team might use a low ropes course experience to look at the necessary elements to achieving success throughout their season.

Examples: click link to find out more

Whale Watch & Balance Platforms

This is a photo of a balance platform shaped like an extra wide teeter–totter with a ramp.
Balance platform with ramp. (Photo by Don Rogers.)

Spider’s Web

This photo shows a group of participants as they hold a teammate up in the air as they attempt to pass her through an opening in a spider’s web.
A team works together to pass a teammate through an opening in the spider’s web. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)


This photo shows a man sitting in a swing as he propels himself through an activity by swinging from rope to rope.
A participant swings through the multi vine activity. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)

Incline Beam/Ramp

This is a photo of a young man pushing his wheelchair up an incline beam to a platform.  The young man has a person on each side of his wheelchair and one person walking behind his chair; all are working as safety spotters.
A challenge participant pushes his wheelchair up the incline beam‚ as other participants act as safety spotters. (Photo by Bradford Woods.)

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