Realization hiking

Why use this?

To reflect upon problems that might arise.

Realization hiking Helper 2


Step 1:

Let’s start our way. This activity will consist in a hiking way that we will modify a little bit. It will not be difficult itself: it should be somewhere easy, flat, not risky, but with some areas almost fully covered by plants and trees, as we plan to so some forest immersion activities. First step: start your way! You will introduce your volunteer to the topic of disabilities and let them know that they are going to do some tasks in order to get in the shoes of disabled people.

Step 2:

 Blindness. For 10 minutes long, the volunteer will have to put some clothes around their head to make themselves blind for a part of their way. They will have to deal with several difficulties: let them express themselves and remember to act kindly to help them do their way as they would do it normally.

Step 3:

Schizophrenia. The second task will consist on wearing headphones for around 5 minutes. Meanwhile, we’ll play a not so loud audio of common sounds that schizophrenic people would hear in their daily lives. The task is to follow a simple conversation about a proposed comfortable topic with their mentor, while dealing with what the voices are telling them. After that, take the headphones out and discuss how it made it difficult to keep the attention and to make active listening.

Step 4:

Limp. You will ask your volunteer to keep their right foot out of the floor, in the way that they prefer doing it, for 2 full minutes. During this activity, try to keep the way on a flat path, with no risks at all, but go a bit faster than supposed to give an extra difficulty to the task. Help if needed. After that, relax and ask your volunteer about their main difficulties and what did their mentor do wrong.

Step 5:

Macroglossia (Down’s Syndrome). To make a contact with what communication is while having macroglossia, the volunteer will have to put about 2 or 3 pillow sweets in their mouth and go for a conversation of 5-6 minutes. As a mentor, you will have to make them be the main speakers, so that this activity is worth it. After that, explain them macroglossia as a characteristic of many people with Down’s Syndrome and ask them how it was to barely communicate while having a big portion of your mouth occupied. Make a little reflection about active listening with people with this characteristic.

Step 6:

OCD. From now on, an element from nature that you decide will be untouchable, poisonous or killer. To follow the path, you will ask the volunteer to follow you through a way that is full of that element. Warn them that, even though you can actually touch it with no issue, there is a legend that says that a simple touch would make them feel very bad in a few minutes. Go in that way for around 3 minutes, end the risk and explain the relation that it has with an OCD. Explanation: imagine that there is some element in your life that causes you stress or anxiety because of its touch, smell, order, shape or hygienic conditions. Ask them how they felt and how it would be to have an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Ask them also about what changes they could do as a volunteer working with these people to make a comfortable place out of their working environment.

Step 7:

Deafness. To make this activity, the volunteer will put ear plugs on and they will have to keep them for 15 minutes long. You will go on with your path as normal and you will try to keep talking as you were before. However, both of you will notice that a part of the conversation is lost and you will have to give more attention to non-verbal communication. After these 15 minutes, let your volunteer describe their feelings and the difficulties that they have found during the process.

Step 8:

Memory loss (Alzheimer’s)  Having ended your hiking activity, make a reflection about what they have learned and start asking very specific questions about things that were supposed to be irrelevant, such as: the color of some element that you said in a past story, which year it was when the mentor injured themself in the story that they told, how many minutes was the duration of the first task… This apparently calmed conversation will probably become stressful and the volunteer won’t know how to answer those questions. This is the part when the mentor introduces the last topic, the memory loss in Alzheimer’s, and you will make the volunteer to reflect about their feelings and their struggles during this last task.

Tip from a Mentor

 In the end of every task, try to extrapolate the results of the game to the reality of these people, and make a reflection of what are the things that they are scared the most with each situation applied to their volunteering activity.


Schizophrenia sound simulation

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