Walking

Be aware that for many people with special needs, fitness is often an issue and so objectives need to be matched accordingly. Stops may need to be made more frequently. Alternative activities such as games can be incorporated into an outing to provide added interest.

For some individuals with vision impairment, a coloured shirt or pack worn by the carer may be of assistance when following a track; others may require a carer walking alongside. A whistle worn around the neck would be particularly useful for some individuals and provides a ready means of communicating distress.

In uneven terrain, physical assistance may be necessary. Offer it when appropriate but try to allow the participants to do as much as they can on their own. Encouragement and eventual achievement can produce great feelings of accomplishment not just for the individual grappling with the task, but for the entire group.

A person pushing a participant in a wheelchair should remember that, as much as possible, the focus of control should be with the participant rather than the carer. Avoid moving across a slope as there is a greater risk of tipping. When moving down steep slopes, it is preferable to support the wheelchair from below, but from above when moving uphill.

If you need to physically lead a person with vision impairment, allow them to grasp your arm rather than the other way around. Provide them with verbal commentary of what the terrain is like, such as what is on the ground, tree positions, overhanging branches and whether you are going uphill or downhill.