MOVE’s Supported Therapeutic Exercise Program (STEP) provides supported therapeutic exercise and access to adapted equipment for low-income individuals living with disabilities. This program is customized to address the unique and complex needs of individuals with a variety of disabilities. STEP includes the development of individualized exercise programs, full access to MOVE’s specialized gym equipment, one-on-one therapy by a certified Kinesiologist, group exercise programs, and social engagement activities. Through the STEP program MOVE would like to expand it’s one-on-one athletic therapy service and group exercise programs.

Through the success of the grant MOVE was able to provide two additional 100% and 50% subsidies for a seven month term. One-on-one therapy and group exercise programs require increased staffing, therefore increasing cost of memberships. Improved funding has allowed members to gain better access to specialized one-on-one therapy, and subsidized memberships. MOVE was able to allocate funding to support our salary of ourprogram coordinator for 122 hours at a rate of $18.75/hour.

Testimonial from one of MOVEs subsidy recipients:

“I am a 23-year-old student living on PWD who is thankful to be a client of MOVE. In my grade 12 year, I suffered several concussions – from which I have not recovered. Since the concussions, I have developed Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain – including severe headaches, balance and dizziness issues as well sensory issues including a sensitivity to light and sound. My physiatrist encouraged me to become as active as possible as he thought that this would be the best way to manage my pain, relieve my fatigue and increase my mobility. Unfortunately – while I was willing to try to get more active, my fear of passing out as well as the over stimulation at most gyms kept me from being able to attend and engage in physical activity. Even walking was challenging due to the fatigue that I was experiencing.

Almost two years ago, I found MOVE – and it has made a dramatic impact on my life! The supportive staff and volunteers have designed a program that is specific to my unique needs. The small size and low level of sensory stimulation at the gym have allowed me to engage. In my program. The presence of the attentive staff and volunteers has meant that I did not need to fear passing out and falling – as there was always someone nearby if I needed help. The warm culture at the gym has meant that I do not need to fear being judged by others – I can simply work on getting stronger.

Since working out at MOVE, I have become significantly stronger. I no longer use a scooter as I was for longer distances and I now rarely use a cane. I have been able to reduce the medications that I take and I feel better about myself. Through the encouragement of the staff, I have been able to challenge myself to work harder and reach new fitness goals. For most of my life, I have been a dancer, and have received great enjoyment from dance. I can now see a future where I might be able to dance once again.

A further feature of MOVE that has made all this possible is the subsidy program. Due to the fatigue that I live with – and the unpredictable nature of my pain flare-ups, I am unable to work. Living on PWD is very hard and I do not have the income flexibility to pay for attending the gym. The subsidies have meant that I do not have to choose between fitness and other life necessities.”