Welcome to another productive year with Animal Assisted Intervention International!
It has been 9 years since a group in Europe began collaborating with a group in the US to build AAII. Our sister organization, Assistance Dogs International has been by our side along the way to offer mentorship, collaboration, and to share conferences. Our conferences in Belgium and the U.S. were well attended, and the networking was phenomenal. AAII Standards of Practice are being adopted all over the world, and our collaborative projects continue to gain momentum. Last year, we hosted a member development meeting in Croatia and began work on an accreditation system. The framework has been built and we are currently developing the process. Thank you to all who participated via Spa & US conferences, Croatia development meeting, by phone, skype and email. We are proud that the system is produced in conjunction with members, and remain respectful that each of our regions make have subtle differences.
Over the past year, our membership base has grown to include organizations and individuals from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America. What a small world it is, indeed. As President of AAII, I am most proud that we are gaining international reference in articles, journals, and scholar projects. While AAI’s have been in existence for quite some time, it is now becoming a respected area of practices in a variety of disciplines. This year, I am personally being honored with Fellow from the American Occupational Therapy Association specifically for my contributions to animal assisted interventions. This is directly related to all of the work we have done within AAII. So, while the scholarly award has my name on it, I believe it represents OUR work as an organization, and I share it with all of you who have made AAII what it is today.
The next year proves to be very fruitful for AAII. The 2016 AAII conference “Building a Voice for the Future” is May 14th and 15th, in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic. In addition, our working groups will begin working on the individual sections of the accreditation process, which will surely take animal assisted intervention to a new level. The implications will ensure best practices for practitioners, handlers, trainers, dogs, and clients! It is quite an advancement for the field. Thank you for your contributions to this process.
Don’t forget to visit the new website aai-int.org and share it with your colleagues! We also have new contact emails. If you don’t hear from us within 7 days of your request, please check in again. We are still in the midst of big server changes. We will release more specific email addresses as they become active.
President – Melissa Winkle- Melissa.W@aai-int.org
Secretary – Elma Burg- ElmaBurg@aai-int.org
Office: Friday 11:00-16:00 CET
Administrator – Lucija Katalenic- Lucija.K@aai-int.org
Melissa Winkle, OTR/L