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Group shows prospective UM students with disabilities the college lifestyle

Posted: 10:00 AM, Jul 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-11 16:20:52-04

MISSOULA – The University of Montana is hosting the Movin’ On organization on campus to show potential college students with disabilities what opportunities await them if they choose the college route.

The event kicked off with registration at Pantzer Hall on Tuesday where potential students are taking part in the Movin’ On in Montana Summer Program — which shows them what life on UM’s campus is like for a student.

Prospective students get to witness simulated classes in lecture halls, eat in the Food Zoo, stay in dorms and take part in fun activities just like they are going to school at UM.

Students will go to an Osprey game, float the river and have daily activities to really show of the Missoula lifestyle associated with attending the University of Montana.  

It’s a big step going from high school to college and the program helps students understand how to conquer those challenges.

“A lot of what we do is we work a lot. You know, we are showing them college, but a lot of it’s self-advocacy — so speaking up for themselves, knowing their resources in the community being able to jump on the bus and go somewhere,” Movin’ On Montana director Suzy Bertsche said. 

“We are going to take them to Playfair [Park] and a couple of other places in Missoula so they get that feel and feel that independence what it’s like to be out on your own in college land,” she added.

The program is even for those students who might go to that rival school out east.

“Even if they decide not to come to the University of Montana, they know what to look for they know to look for disability services for students,” assistant director Dahn Ebert said. 

“They know who to go talk to about getting help with this or housing or whatever they know what to do.”

Movin’ On Montana is a group effort between the UM Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities and UM Disability Services .