The Halliwick Concept according to the ICF Framework

A new article has been published entitled “The Halliwick Concept according to the ICF Framework” by
Ursula Barrett (1) and Jean-Pierre Maes (2)

Published: March 2021 on

(1) Ursula Barrett – Halliwick Lecturer and Lecturer in Adapted Physical Activity, Health and Leisure Department,
Institute of Technology Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland. E:
(2) Jean-Pierre Maes – PT, MCSP, Senior Halliwick Lecturer, Member of Education and Research Committee of the
International Halliwick Association (IHA); Director of M.A.E.S. Therapy. E:


The aquatic environment is often chosen by individuals, parents, exercise professionals,
therapists and other professionals due to the unique characteristics that water provides. There are a variety
of approaches used in both swim teaching and aquatic rehabilitation when working with individuals with
impairments in the water. This paper focuses on the use of the Halliwick® Concept and the benefits this
approach offers. The Halliwick Concept while developed long before the World Health Organisation’s
International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) framework fits well within this
model. A number of examples are outlined in this paper to highlight some of the main benefits of Halliwick
on the 2 main lists of the ICF: 1. Body Functions and structures and 2. Activities and Participation. The
latter is further divided into activities and participation in and out of a Halliwick session in order to
demonstrate the transfer of benefits beyond Halliwick sessions.