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Group shows prospective UM students with disabilities the college lifestyle

 

MISSOULA – The University of Montana is hosting the Movin’ On organization on campus this week 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 took 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 were able to witness simulated classes in lecture halls, eat in the Food Zoo, stay in dorms and take part in fun activities as if they were going to school at UM.

Students will also go to an Osprey game, float the river and have daily activities to really show off 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.

“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 meant for those students who might attend that rival school out east: Montana State University.

“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.

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

-Reported by Connor McCauley/MTN News

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