IAHAIO 2021 Conference

  • Day one: Saturday 25 September

Workshop: A re-look at definitions in AAI, Melissa Winkle, Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, Amy Johnson and Jo-Ann Fowler

Despite repeated calls to adopt commonly shared terminologies in the practice of animal-assisted interventions, there are still inconsistencies in how animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) are described, practiced and reported on in research papers and the media. This lack of consensus impacts the quality of the interventions, the quality of research outputs, how training, qualifications and competencies are defined, and the adoption of agreed standards of practice.
AAII and IAHAIO have recently joined forces to facilitate discussions on terminologies with a view to addressing some of the ambiguity in existing definitions, addressing the current absence of animal welfare considerations in definitions and, ideally, reaching an international consensus on common terminologies that can be applied in practice and adopted by researchers.
Following on from the recent ISAZ workshop on this topic earlier in the year, this workshop will look at the current status of discussions, inviting input from participants and outline plans for the future.

Melissa Winkle

Melissa Winkle has been an occupational therapist and assistance dog trainer for nearly two decades. She is President of Dogwood Therapy Services. In her private practice, Winkle uses animal-assisted interventions in her work to improve independent living and vocational skills for children and adults of all ages and abilities. She specializes in animal-assisted intervention program development and consultation, and evaluations for assistance dogs as assistive technology options.
She is an occupational therapist, researcher, and writer, and she speaks internationally on disability, integrated and community-based program development, animal-assisted interventions, and assistance dogs.
She serves as President of the European-based organization Animal Assisted Intervention International, and serves a number of local, national, and international organizations including universities within the U.S., Chile, Spain, Argentina, and Costa Rica. She is a member of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), and is a Pet Partners licensed evaluator.

Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers

Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, PhD has been Professor in Anthrozoology at the Faculty of Psychology at the Open University in Heerlen, the Netherlands, since June 2013. She successively obtained her Doctoral Diploma Psychology (1990) at the University of Utrecht; a Doctorate (PhD) in Psychology (2000); a Diploma Health Care Psychologist (2001), Certificates Basic- and Senior Lecturer (2003) at the Utrecht University and until now numerous post doctorate courses for further qualifications in research and clinical psychology. She specializes in human-animal interactions. Her research is focused on the development of human-animal relations and the meaning of human-animal interactions for vulnerable people (e.g. elderly, demented elderly, traumatized children, mentally handicapped people, children with psychiatric disorders, autistic children, and psychiatric patients) and on the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Furthermore, she was founder and is nowadays adviser of AAIZOO (Animal Assisted Interventions in Zorg (Care), Onderzoek (Research), Onderwijs (Education); is Fellow at the Denver University; has been member of the Expert Advisory Group Sociology of the CALLISTO project of the European Union (until 2016), is founder and board member of IVA, (Institute for Anthrozoology in the Netherlands), is board member ( ex officio) of ISAZ (International Society of Anthrozoology), is on the advisory council of Green Chimneys, Brewster, N.Y. and at HABRI Central Management Advisory Board, U.S.A. She is President of the International Association of Human-Animal Interactions (IAHAIO).

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson is a licensed professional counselor and dog trainer. She developed and has instructed courses within the AAI certificate program since its inception in 2007. Additionally, she developed and directs a non-profit called Teacher’s Pet: Dogs and Kids Learning Together (est. 2006) that pairs at-risk youth, adjudicated youth, and inmate workers with harder-to-adopt rescue dogs. She has shared dozens of journal articles, book chapters and national/international presentations on AAIs and the human-animal bond. Additionally, she is the Competencies and Ethics Chair for the American Psychological Association Human Animal Interaction Division 17.

Jo-Ann Fowler

Jo-Ann Fowler, MSocSci, qualified as a counselling psychologist in South Africa. She held an academic position as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Natal, Durban, with a specialism of social psychology. She moved to the UK in 1998 where she worked for The Blue Cross animal welfare charity for over 14 years. During this time, she developed the Pet Bereavement Support Service in partnership with the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) and was also responsible for producing training materials for volunteers and for people working within the veterinary profession who support pet owners through pet loss. In 2003 she took up the position of Director of SCAS, managing all aspects of the charity – strategy, financial, PR and media, service delivery and editorial – she was editor of the SCAS Journal for over 10 years. Since 2013, Jo-Ann has been working as an independent consultant, offering project management in an online research trial; strategic and management advice to charities as well as support to IAHAIO in a number of areas, including conference and event management, administration, website management and development and other miscellaneous tasks where needed. She is currently Director of IAHAIO and also main editor for the practice section of the IAHAIO online journal, People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice.