Remembering Linda Bidabe, 1945 - 2017
On 25th October 2017, Linda Bidabe, Founder of The Move Programme, passed away. Here the Move Team remember her and the incredible impact her work has had on the lives of thousands across the world.
In the 1980s, a special needs teacher from California became frustrated with the fact that so many of her students were leaving school with fewer skills than when they entered. She saw children becoming more and more passive, with limited opportunities available to them when they left school. She found this unacceptable and knew that something had to be done. So, in 1986 Linda Bidabe wrote The Move Programme and in doing so, changed the lives of thousands of people across the world.
By creating The Move Programme, Linda Bidabe developed a revolutionary and radical programme that was years ahead of her time, providing countless children with opportunities never available to them before. The Move Programme began in California, but spread quickly across the USA before coming to the UK in the 1990s. Since then, it has grown and now is in countries such as Australia, Japan, Austria, Italy and Russia.
The current Move team here in the UK unfortunately never had the chance to meet Linda herself, unlike some of our Move Trainers who have been using The Move Programme for many years. However, we have seen the huge impact of her work in hundreds of organisations across the UK and Europe and continue to be inspired by the work that Linda did.
Since news of her passing, we have been amazed by the amount of messages we have received, describing the amazing woman she was. Those who did have the privilege of meeting Linda speak of her “incredible courage”, her “unwavering support of those with learning disabilities” and her “tireless work to improve the lives of children across the world through The Move Programme”. They describe Linda as a “truly inspiring lady” who has “helped countless children reach their full potential and lead more fulfilled and happy lives”. Most of all, the messages describe a huge sense of gratitude for Linda’s dedication in developing The Move Programme, without which the lives of the children they work with would be dramatically different.
Others from a wider sphere have also provided their memories of Linda Bidabe. Rifton, a global disability equipment provider who have been greatly involved in The Move Programme since its inception, have written a beautiful piece on Linda here, documenting their memories of her.
In Rifton’s piece, Carmen Hinkey, poignantly remembers Linda’s legacy:
“Cancer took her quickly; her passing on October 25th was unexpected for all of us. But her dream is in good hands, and will not die. Her legacy is monumental and personal: monumental because she has changed the paradigms of an entire clinical discipline, and personal because so many children have gained freedom of movement through her visionary ideas.”
Also in the article, Chris Voll, who co-authored Linda’s memoirs “No Ordinary Move”, perfectly sums up Linda and the legacy that she leaves:
“Linda was that rare combination of immense intellect and immense heart. I’m not sure can’t was in her vocabulary. Linda tenaciously tackled problems and went about solving them. Put simply, she was born to help other people. That’s who she was, and part of her legacy is the challenge to the rest of us to do the same.”
Here at The Move Programme in the UK, we are truly grateful to Linda and for her dedication to improving the lives of disabled children. She has, and will continue to inspire us to work tirelessly to reach even more children whose lives could be transformed by The Move Programme.
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