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Barriers Check – Exploring a Space from an Inclusionary Standpoint

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

This activity aims to inform about what is a barriers check and try to identify barriers in a garden, place or in an activity. Each group of participants will receive a role, in which they can “dive in”. They will try to experience the place and the day's activities from another perspective. A list of actions and moments of the day will help the participant to re-think the experience from this point of view. The results will be collected and shared at the end.

Goal of the exercise

Familiarising participants with the concept of a barriers check;

awakening empathy; discovering new ways in which a garden, or another space, is being perceived; reflecting upon privileges, finding practical solutions for more inclusiveness


Number of participants:

5-20 persons

Target group:

Adults, young people, mixed groups with children

Age of participants:

Aged 8 or above

Duration of the method

45 to 60 min

Materials / Location


Pens or pencils

Cards describing roles

A list of questions

A space where to look for barriers, e.g. a garden


Acquaint yourself with the concept of a barriers check.

Create roles that allow participants to explore barriers in the chosen space.

Prepare a list of questions you want participants to use while exploring the selected space for barriers.

Step by step

  1. Explain to the participants the concept of a simulated barriers check and its goals, which are to raise awareness about possible barriers in a given space, experienced by persons who face them in daily life (ca. 5 min).

  2. Divide the participants into small groups of two to four persons and assign each of them a role with the aim of helping them experience the space and daily activities related to it from the perspective of a person who is facing specific barriers, such as mobility or sensory restrictions and linguistic insecurity. Ask them, in particular, to look into the three main dimensions of a barriers check: – How will the person described by the role get to the space? – How will they be able to enter it? – How will they be able to cope with it? If appropriate, suggest activities that take place in the space in the course of a typical day or provide a list of additional questions.

  3. Gather the participants and ask each group to share the results of their investigation and jointly discuss the findings.

Alternative use

Use this method as a starting point for joint efforts to make a space more accessible by reducing physical, visual, linguistic, social, cultural and other barriers for specific target groups.

Use this method to examine possible barriers related to a specific activity you are planning, such as a workshop, by asking how to access information about it, how to get to the venue, how to take part in it, etc.

Add a session during which participants will make practical suggestions how to make the space more inclusive. Guiding questions would be: What should be improved? What changes should be made? How could these be implemented?


Complement himmelbeet’s barriers check to make a space even more inclusive.

Credit and References

Inklusionsberater:Innen Tüchtig e.V., Berlin


Barriers check_roles and questions
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