A challenge course program has features similar to any other recreation service delivery operation. There are administrators who must plan and make decisions, marketing and public relations efforts, supervisors directing front-line operations, and program delivery staff who have direct contact with participants. Spread across these functions are responsibilities for risk management, staff training, environmental concerns, and program quality. In the delivery of challenge course programming that includes people with disabilities, it is necessary to evaluate the operation in its entirety to determine an agency's readiness to begin serving these persons.
A participant wears extra protection gear and receives support from the facilitator. Photo courtesy of Bradford Woods.
Given the vague nature of standards in this field with regard to accessibility and the general incompatibility of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines with the challenge course environment, there is a need for specific information on how to design, manage, and deliver safe, effective challenge course-based programming that includes participants with disabilities. This monograph reports on research done by the UAD in 2003 and 2004. Findings from this research will hopefully aid challenge course managers and facilitators in their efforts to include participants with disabilities.