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Monthly Archives

March 2019

Wild dolphins in Albuquerque

Wild dolphins in Albuquerque

By | News
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In February 2019 our research assistant Georgia Smith accompanied the Dolphin Swim Club’s Marijke & Benno to California to start a collaboration with the Chariot Project in Stanford Children’s Hospital. Georgia is an MSc Human-Animal Interaction student from the University of Stirling (UK).
During her research at Stanford, Georgia came into contact with Melissa Winke.
Melissa is the owner of Dogwood Therapy Services and President of Animal Assisted Intervention International.
She was very interested in her patients swimming with our wild dolphins.
And so Georgia and the dolphins made their way to Albuquerque!

“The dolphins are amazing.  I can see the applications for this could be huge for so many people.”

Dogwood works with people with a variety of disabilities, to participate in activities that are meaningful to them regardless of physical, cognitive or psychiatric disabilities. Georgia helped 22 of their patients to “swim” with our wild dolphins.
And what fun they had!

Wild dolphins in Albuquerque

Georgia prepared a questionnaire about how the children experienced their first encounter with our wild dolphins. And while some of them were initially worried about sharks, they all had a wonderful time.
“You really feel like you are there.”
“The dolphins are cute – I like that the divers are saving us from the sharks.”
“I felt my breathing slow and calm. It made me want to go to a lake where we always used to go to. It brought back memories of that.”

And their reply to the question if they would like to do it again?
“Oh my god, thousand times over, every day!”


Photos courtesy of Melissa Winkle

Laval Virtual – Télé Loisirs

By | In the news
Reading Time: 1 minute

PictureIn anticipation of the Laval Virtual show that will be held from March 20 to 24, we look back on an experience that appealed to the public and the press during the last edition: the project Wild dolphin UnderwaterVR. A therapeutic dive with virtual dolphins!
The Laval Virtual conference will take place from March 20 to 24, 2019. Days dedicated to the general public on the weekend of March 23 and 24.
Language: French

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UnderwaterVR helps patients around the world – SNN

By | In the news
Reading Time: 1 minute

Marijke Sjollema When Benno and Marijke founded the Dolphin Swim Club, they wanted to create extraordinary VR goggles. Benno: ‘These are normal VR goggles. Try them on.’ The sight is breathtaking: floating in the clearest water there are dolphins all around you. ‘But you are sitting in a chair. If you would be in the water, the experience would be even more intense. That’s what we wanted to create. And that was not possible with normal VR goggles.’ The Dolphin Swim Club successfully applied for funds from SNN for UnderwaterVR goggles. Benno: ‘Thanks to SNN we could fund important research into the commercial viability of our plans, but also if we could use recycled plastics in the production process.’
Language: Dutch

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Innovation in Healthcare – Computable

By | In the news
Reading Time: 1 minute

UnderwaterVRIn an interview with Computable, Johan Elbers of the Dutch healthcare institution ‘sHeerenloo, explains how he is always looking for new technologies to treat patients with a mental disability. As an innovation manager, he admits that some of the best applications have been developed with the patients’ personal wishes in mind. ‘The possibilities are endless, but do they really help these people? That’s why we always interview our patients first, to discover their needs. Swimming with dolphins is a good example. It’s impossible to take all our patients to Curaçao (a Dutch  and that’s why, with the Dolphin Swim Club, we’re bringing the dolphins to our patients.’
Language: Dutch

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