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