Two Traverse City special education schools are in their second year of an activity based program

Photo from TBAISD

Photo from TBAISD.

Students with special needs or disabilities in Traverse City are benefiting from a program that was implemented last year.

It’s called Mobile Opportunities Via Education, or MOVE.

The model in Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District focuses on each individual student, and how they can ultimately stand, walk, sit and use a toilet by themselves.

Julia Barresi is a physical therapist for the school district.

“We’ve had students who haven’t walked in years, being able to walk again down our halls, you know maybe walk to a class instead of being pushed, so definitely we see a lot of students being proud of what they can do.”

Barresi said MOVE focuses on intentional movement, and how students can get the most out of small actions.

“Before we would have been walking someone down the hallway so that they’re out and walking, which is a good thing, but now we’re trying to be more intentional about purposeful movement, so when you’re walking, why are you walking, what are you going to, so that everything is really thoughtful to the person’s integrity.”

School districts in Ingham, Ottawa, and St. Clair counties also use the MOVE program.

MOVE does use equipment to help lift students, but the school says they are looking to move away from that.