The search for true inclusion
On-the-Move was born out of the need for something better. Frustrated by the lack of meaningful activities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, former special education teacher Molly Mayo founded On-the-Move in 2007. That summer, Molly brought together seven adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to break the mold. What started as a series of day camps and volunteer projects grew into a unique organization that provides meaningful experiences to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
One of the first programs of its kind in the nation, our program is community-based rather than facility-focused. It set the stage for true integration by offering activities that are healthy, meaningful, social and fun!
AN INNOVATIVE approach
We were one of the first organizations 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 more separation of people with disabilities from their communities. At On-the-Move, we strive for integration.
Our small-group model never exceeds three participants to one staff. Our participants benefit from this small, yet dynamic social setting, creating long-lasting friendships and community integration each and every day.
Today, we continue to grow and find new ways to connect those we serve to their communities.
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
Over the past 10 years, On-the-Move has grown from two staff supporting five participants into a small nonprofit with 55 participants and a team of 11 dedicated staff and volunteers. Driven by our commitment to community and inclusion, we have earned a reputation as a leader in Portland. We’re proud of our awards and recognition:
- “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 (2011-2017)
- “Gold Level Certification” from Portland Sustainability at Work Program (2013-2017)
- “Top-Ranking Nonprofit” from GreatNonprofits.org
- “Gold Level Seal of Transparency” from Guidestar.org