Before I left for the Laplands, we had a class for my Leadership course that emphasized physical activity for people with disabilities, mainly those who had vision problems or were in wheelchairs.
Everyone in my class was given a wheelchair and we set up an obstacle course in the gym that forced us to do things that people in wheelchairs must do everyday. I must say, it was quite difficult doing some of the things, like navigating through narrow spaces and going up hills. I can’t imagine having to do this outside, bracing the elements. Nature can be so cruel.
After that we tried out three different games, one was a game that people with vision problems enjoy playing, one was basketball in wheelchairs, and the third game was one that both people in wheelchairs and people with vision problems can play. Sorry, it has been so long since we had this class I can’t remember the exact other names for the games.
Once we were done attempting these games (they were a lot harder then one would think!), we were let loose with our wheelchairs in IKSU to see how accessible the gym was. Overall I found IKSU to be extremely accessible for people in wheelchairs, even if it meant taking a roundabout way to get to some of the areas. All the levels are equipped with elevators as well. The best part of going through the gym was wheeling through the cafe as everyone was sitting down for lunch.
Even though it was obvious there were a bunch of people in wheelchairs, and almost anyone could infer that we were not disabled, we still got looks as though we were.
It was fun to practice these things for a day, but I can’t imagine being in a wheelchair every day of my life. I also found this class particularly useful because I have a dear cousin with vision problems and it really helped me to better understand what she is going through.