an idea for true inclusion is born
We were founded in 2007 by Molly Mayo – former special education teacher for Portland Public Schools and assistant camp director for Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp. Frustrated with the systemic issues of a large public school system, yet invigorated by the celebratory, collaborative camp environment, Molly envisioned a program that would offer a learning environment where people would feel vibrant, integrated and capable of exceeding societal expectations.
Molly remains connected to On-the-Move as the Founder, which carries a unique legacy for the life of the organization. In 2014, Molly handed over On-the-Move's vision and daily operations to a leadership team and board whom she selected and coached during her time at On-the-Move. Today, Molly is called upon by community leaders and organizations for her professional expertise in program design, nonprofit management, disability advocacy and her keen awareness of the intersection of social and ecological issues. She's also a pretty amazing person to chat with over a cup of coffee! Connect with Molly by sending an email to Founder@onthemoveonline.org.
OUR APPROACH HAS BEEN INNOVATIVE AND UNLIKE ANY OTHER PROGRAM MODEL.
We were one of the first to offer a community-based program where people were supported alongside one or two of their peers. Our society's history of site-based programs has often resulted in further segregation of people with disabilities from the broader community. We didn’t want this to be the case.
Folks who need supports don’t always have access to their community unless they work with an Independent Contractor or receive supports within a large group. Our small-group model never exceeds more than three participants to one staff. The size of our groups is one that you would expect to see mirrored in the community. Our participants benefit from this small, yet dynamic social setting – creating long-lasting friendships and integration into community each and every day.
OUR FRAMEWORK OF SUSTAINABILITY HAS SET US APART.
Social Justice & Environmental Responsibility:
We set out with a unique and highly accountable approach to social justice and environmental responsibility. A focus on sustainability offers participants’ opportunities to make environmentally-minded and healthy choices, a rather difficult task given the way cultural norms often encourage people with developmental disabilities to make unhealthy choices as a means for fitting in. We believe in teaching everyone to seek and discover countless other ways to create a sense of societal inclusion besides visiting fast food chains, window shopping at the mall, or going to the movies.
An idea becomes a reality impacting dozens
Molly’s vision was met with challenges and setbacks along the way. In it's infancy, the program faced obstacles trying to shift mindsets and train new staff to implement this unique and innovative approach. But within three years, On-the-Move went from supporting five participants to 55; from two staff to a team of 11; and had earned a reputation within the Brokerage Support Service System as a professional leader in Community Inclusion.
Not long after reaching full program capacity, we started getting recognized by the provider community and the business sector. We are proud of our awards and recognitions:
- “Organization of the Year” award from The Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas Counties (2016)
- “Making a Difference” award from City of Portland (2014)
- “Special Provider Advocacy” award from The Arc of Multnomah-Clackamas Counties (2014)
- “Innovation in Sustainability: Equity” award from Sustainable Business Portland (2013)
- “Top 100 Green Businesses to Work For” award from Oregon Business (2011-2016)
- “Gold Level Certification” from Portland Sustainability at Work Program (2013-2016)
- “Top-Ranking Nonprofit” from GreatNonprofits.org
- “Gold Level Seal of Transparency” from Guidestar.org