The MOVE Program for Children was developed in the 1980’s by D. Linda Bidabe, a special education teacher for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools in Bakersfield, California. MOVE was created in response to a growing concern that students with severe, multiple and profound disabilities in the public schools were not learning critical mobility skills needed to benefit fully from their educational programs. The concept rapidly spread to three neighboring school district and in 1991, the first MOVE curriculum was published. In 1994 MOVE International became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. In 2004, MOVE broadened it’s scope into the adult population. A pilot program was started at Chesapeake Care in Maryland. After two years, the data showed that adults benefited from the MOVE Program. Adults who had never walked before began walking in gait trainers. A whole new world was open to them. In partnership with MOVE, thousands of teachers, therapists, support staff, family members and administrators across the US and worldwide are trained as MOVE Basic Providers to assist individuals with multiple disabilities. With each passing year the numbers continue to increase as word spreads about the effectiveness of the MOVE program to enhance the quality of life for individual, family members and support providers. The majority of children and adults with motor disabilities are appropriate for inclusion in the MOVE Program.

The MOVE Program is comprised of six steps to assist the individual, family, and/or care providers in helping the learner advance in their gross motor skills.

  • Step One determines the individual's present skill level through an interview assessment;
  • Step Two determines the functional goals needed for the individual to become more independent
  • Step Three creates meaningful, functional activities and embeds appropriate skills into the activity for the individual to be successful in reaching their goals;
  • Step Four looks at the supports the individual  currently needs;
  • Step Five reduces the prompts the individual needs; and
  • Step Six defines and schedules teaching of the skills throughout the individual's typical day.

(Banner Photo Credit: Nick Chapman)