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Usability of specific low ropes course elements and adaptations that can be made to make each element more universal for populations with a disability

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Corey, Brent
DiRocco, Patrick
Aug 2001
Outdoor education; Adventure education; Physical education for people with disabilities
Ten ropes course elements were studied to determine how usable each is for persons with a disability. The ten elements that were used are the inclined log, the swinging log, the spider's web, the triangle traverse, the wild woozy, the t.p. shuffle, the wall, the fidget ladder, the trust fall, and the nitro crossing. The first consideration for each element was whether or not it is usable for a person with a disability as it is. The second consideration is what adaptations can be made to that element so that a person with a disability can have a similar experience without changing the intent of that element if it was not usable as it is. Some of the elements are easily adjusted to make them more usable for all populations without changing the adventure experience. Other elements cannot be adjusted but adaptations to the rules can be made to allow a person with a disability the opportunity to experience success at a specific element. Some other elements were not usable at all for persons with a disability but they could share in the group bonding process of problem solving and spotting to help their group accomplish the goal of certain elements that may be physically impossible for them to conquer on their own. Instructor attitudes towards persons with a disability may also determine the success that they will experience on a ropes course. The examination of more ropes course elements and the adaptations that can be made to make each element more universal will help aid in the construction of ropes courses.
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