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Activity devised by Nancy Pinkerton - Habilitation Specialist, Royal Blind School

A multi-use games area

Multi-use games area (MUGA)

This version of the ball activity gives four example of how the activity can be progressed with a young person with complex needs and vision impairment. If you haven't already, please look at the original activity.

In a large space, a hall, or a multi-use games area (MUGA), encourage the young person to self-propel their wheelchair in order to find a large physio ball.

A large space, like the one in the photograph, gives lots of room to manoeuvre and develop skills that can transfer to other more enclosed areas.

The object used in the activity doesn’t have to be a ball. It can be any sensory object the young person you are working with will associate with and be motivated to find. For the young person in the video clips the bouncing physio ball gives good sensory stimulation in that particular environment.


Encourage the young person to use "Two hands to come forward." The goal is to develop the young person's ability to adjust their own direction of movement.

Watch the video demonstration of Step One


Encourage the young person to use their head or hands to show you where the ball is.

It's important to ensure that the young person has the opportunity to listen to the ball and the sounds in the environment. This is also important if the young person uses echolocation.

Watch the video demonstration of Step Two


If the young person bumps into a fence or wall they may push off from this surface. If they mange to get away from the obstacle encourage them to use one wheel forward to turn. It is always the opposite wheel from the direction they need to turn. Use the terms "left" and "right" to develop their understanding.

An important goal of this activity is to help the young person develop problem solving skills. Asking for help in this context is problem solving, but it is important to encourage the young person to try and solve problems themselves. Ask the young person if they need assistance and wait for them to respond before giving assistance. This can be done by using phrases such as “Can Frazier sort it?” and "Does Frazier need help?" Again, you can develop your own phrases with the young person you work with.

Watch the video demonstration of Step Three


When retrieving the ball, start bouncing it from the spot where it landed and walk with the ball until you are closer to the young person.


In the video the young person asks for help by tapping his hand on the arm rest of his chair. This way of requesting help is specific to the young person and was developed with their habilitation specialist. Develop a way for your young person to ask for help.

When giving assistance, ask the young person which direction they need to turn by tapping on each arm and reinforcing “left” and “right”.

Once they have established the direction move that wheel backwards and reinforce by saying “right/left wheel backwards” while physically pulling the wheel backwards. This gives the young person the opportunity to feel the wheel move and hopefully they will learn to do this for themselves.

Watch the video demonstration of Step Four

Please ensure that the young person has the opportunity to listen to the ball and the sounds in the environment by limiting spoken language to key phrases involved in the activity.

This is particularly important if the young person uses echolocation to navigate the environment.

Key Phrases

  • If Frazier wants the ball he needs to come to the ball
  • Two hands to come forward. Two hands together at the same time
  • Good Listening
  • Can Frazier sort it? Does Frazier need help?
  • If Frazier needs help he knows how to ask for it
  • Frazier needs help - good asking
  • Right/left wheel backward
  • Which way are we going? Right or left?
  • I'll help with the right/left wheel, you do the left/right

Learn more

Get practical advice for wheelchair mobility training: Wheelchair Mobility Route Learning Activity

Last modified: Wednesday, 13 June 2018, 1:50 PM