Animal Therapies Ltd (ATL) is holding a two-day Animal-Assisted Services Sector Conference at the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport from the 20 February – 21 February 2020. This will be a unique opportunity to have practitioners, trainers, government, allied health practitioners, the corporate sector and community health all in the one room speaking about animal-assisted services and exploring how we can advance the sector to help more in need.
There will be three separate events and you are welcome to register for one or all of the events. Please feel free to distribute this conference information to your professional network.
On the 20 February we are holding a full day conference for anyone interested in the animal-assisted services sector. The day will be a great networking opportunity as well as an opportunity to hear Australia’s leading animal-assisted service professionals speak about their programs and how they are helping those in need.
Register Your Attendance at Day One for the Conference Here
We value your opinion. If you are an animal-assisted service provider, please complete our questionnaire so we can determine the key actions needed in 2020 to help more people in need.
Have your say here
We will present the summary of the feedback we receive on the 21 February when we are holding a series of workshops and focus groups on how we can advance the understanding, acceptance and accessibility of animal-assisted services for those suffering trauma, disability and adversity. We will also be presenting feedback from a survey we conducted with approx. 100 veterans.
Register Your Attendance for Day Two Here
A copy of the program for both days can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
On the evening of the 20 February we are holding an awards dinner for the sector. There will be five categories of winners:
Animal-Assisted Therapy Practitioner (Registered Allied Health Professionals)
Animal-Assisted Learning Professionals
Visitation Animal Handlers
Assistance Dog Trainers
Lived Experience – Courage, Resilience, Determination
Each category includes a People’s Choice Winner
The night will be a celebration of the achievements made throughout 2019.
Register Your Attendance for the Awards Dinner Here
Animal-Assisted Services can help with the prevention and management of mental illness, disease, disability and suffering for people of all ages, and in many settings.
These types of services are goal-directed programs designed to promote improvement in people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive and psychosocial conditions in which a specially trained animal-handler team is an integral part. It is directed and/or delivered by a practitioner with specialized expertise within the scope of practice of his/her profession.
Treatment can take several forms and may be group or individual in nature. There are different types of animal-assisted services and it’s important to note the distinctions.
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) includes therapeutic and clinical services that incorporate animals into the therapeutic assessment and treatment process. AAT is delivered by qualified allied health and medically trained professionals (such as mental health workers, psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, psychiatrists, general practitioners (doctors), speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists).
AAT incorporates trained animals as part of a therapeutic plan delivered. AAT can also include untrained animals if facilitated by trained therapists, for example observing a herd of horses. Health care professionals are trained to facilitate specific AAT treatment plans and measurable goals and outcomes must be documented.
AAT is designed to promote health and well being, and support improvement in human physical, social, emotional, or cognitive function. AAT is provided in a variety of settings, and may be delivered in individual, couple, family, or group programs. AAT includes programs such as Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, Hippotherapy (therapeutic riding delivered by registered physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech therapists).
Animal-Assisted Learning (AAL) incorporates animals and a facilitator in an ‘experiential’ learning environment to assist an individual or group develop skills or strategies to better manage their personal or professional life. AAL practitioners are trained in their field of expertise to facilitate specific learning outcomes. Can include corporate coaching, leadership, team building, personal development and self management.
Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) consists of therapeutic animal visits by a trained handler / animal team to people in hospitals, aged care facilities, schools, universities and other institutions to alleviate stress, depression, pain management and to provide therapeutic relief. These visits are therapeutic in nature and handlers may be volunteers who may not hold any professional qualifications.
Assistance Animals (often dogs “AD”) are trained to perform one or more tasks to help their handler better access public life and manage their condition such as physical impairment, diabetes, eye disease, hearing and vision impairment, seizures, asthma, life threatening allergies, people who experience episodic and serious medical crises (e.g. epilepsy, changes in blood pressure or blood sugar); and people with psychosocial conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal ideology and other psychological conditions.
Assistance animals have a legal right to access public places and are not to be patted or distracted as they are working animals. They support people in accessing various aspects of personal and public life. They can be trained in tasks to alert their handler of an oncoming medical episode or to assist with everyday tasks. An assistance animal must meet standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place. Please do not ask the handler of an assistance animal about their condition.
Please help us help those in need.