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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

On The Moov: Students to expand organization assisting students with disabilities in navigating campus

Lorianne Willett
Fabiola Amaya and Kennedi Davis on Speedway on Aug. 30, 2023.

On The Moov, a new student-led initiative at UT, said they plan to expand their services next semester as part of a project increasing accessibility on campus.

Before starting the organization, members of the spirit organization Texas Lassos would sign up for shifts via Google Sheets to help Texas Lassos member Fabiola Amaya go from building to building. Now, the group is shifting to help more disabled students with navigating campus. 

Able-bodied students can sign up for shifts to aid students with disabilities who need support navigating throughout the University, such as crossing sidewalks or holding doors open. 

Amaya, founder of On The Moov, said the University was lacking in terms of helping disabled students with making their way through campus. 

“UT provides accommodations inside the classroom (such as) longer time on tests, extended deadlines, things like that, but no support with navigating campus itself which is something a lot of disabled students struggle with,” social work sophomore Amaya said. “As a disabled person coming (into the University), I didn’t know how I would get around campus. That’s what inspired me to start On The Moov.”

University Disability and Access provides accommodations for students with physical disabilities, such as leaving class a few minutes early or granting lateness gratuity, but does not mention assistance navigating through impervious surfaces or hill-dominant areas.

Aria Welch, biology and sociology junior, and Meghna Kundur, Texas Lassos’ president, serve as Texas Lassos representatives for On The Moov. Along with Amaya, the trio facilitates communication between general Texas Lassos members and the On The Moov team. 

Kundur said the spirit organization got a bigger picture of how traveling through campus can be challenging for disabled students. 

“Being part of a spirit (organization) that was involved in the initial stages of what was to become of On The Moov, it’s been important for us to be more educated and aware of how navigating spaces are different for different people,” said Kundur, a management information systems senior.  

While On The Moov is not an official student organization currently, the group is communicating with different spirit groups to coordinate volunteers and plans to officially expand next semester. 

Welch said On The Moov is a simple, affordable solution to accessibility issues the University is facing and encourages Disability and Access to further incorporate action items like On The Moov. 

“The power simple community partnerships can have in addressing issues like infrastructure and things that seem very expensive and not feasible for the university or for other institutions,” Welch said. “I think a lot of people, whenever they consider ways to address (accessibility) issues, immediately turn to the very expensive solutions … but I think it’s important to consider how you might be able to solve those issues differently.”

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.