Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest providers of health care plans, has a mission which covers helping others. Part of that mission this Spring was to better understand those with disabilities.
So when they came to us looking for a charity workshop that served their mission, we knew exactly which suggestion to make… Wheelcharity™! This is a charity team building workshop where groups get to assemble wheelchairs, which then get donated to charitable organizations who give them to people who need them.
Kaiser Permanente had goals, and we helped them meet those goals.
We often have clients come to us with very specific needs- they want help with morale, or they need their team to collaborate more. Kaiser had a goal too, and that was for their group to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of their clients who had disabilities.
Since Wheelcharity™ is focused on giving to those with mobility challenges, this workshop became the perfect opportunity for addressing those issues and helping Kaiser Permanente achieve those goals.
The blindfolded obstacle course really honed in on some of the needs of people with mobility challenges.
We always begin all of our workshops with icebreakers, which segue into interactive tasks aimed at helping teams with common workplace skills. Even in our charity team building workshops, we always include at least a minimum of skills work, such as improved communication… all in good fun, of course!
Wheelcharity™ is no different- we begin with icebreakers to establish a “safe environment” for trust and learning new ways of communicating. Then we move into activities requiring more input from the group, as well as more collaboration (teamwork!).
The difference with Wheelcharity™ is that for the final act of the workshop, we offer a choice: groups can either decorate their finished wheelchairs with messages of hope and support, or they can compete in a blindfold obstacle course using the wheelchairs they’ve just built.
The obstacle course brings home what it’s like to depend on a wheelchair.
Since the Kaiser Permanent group’s goal was to further understand the needs of people with disabilities, we suggested the obstacle course and they accepted the challenge. Partners compete on an obstacle course: one is blindfolded and the other sits in the wheelchair, giving directions to steer his or her blindfolded partner through the course.
Together, they make their way to the end, having gained a deeper understanding of the challenges people face when confined to a wheelchair.
The group from Kaiser Permanente completed their workshop as the sun went down right over the ocean in Dana Point, CA on the beautiful Marriott Laguna Cliffs. A beautiful ending to a productive day!