The International Vojta Society (IVG) is a professional society in which Vojta teachers from the fields of physiotherapy and medicine have joined forces internationally to promote Vojta principles in the early diagnosis and therapy of children and adults with cerebral palsy and other motor disturbances.
The members of the International Vojta Society establish common standards for further training and qualification in the Vojta Method for doctors and physiotherapists, and support the setting-up of therapy centres for children and adults throughout the world.
The International Vojta Society encourages, organises and supports research projects in the early diagnosis and therapy of new-born babies, children and adults with movement disturbances. The IVS sends experts to international congresses and symposia.
1984: The Founding of the Václav Vojta Society (VVG)
Prof Dr Václav Vojta (1917-2000), a specialist in neurology and paediatric neurology, developed Vojta Therapy and Vojta Diagnostics starting in Prague in the fifties. When in 1984, together with his—at that time still small—teaching team, he founded the non-profit Václav Vojta Society (VVG) with its headquarters in Munich, he had already been studying the development of posture and motor activity in new-born babies and children for more than twenty-five years. While still in the former Czechoslovakia, he had begun to construct a further training and qualification system for doctors and physiotherapists.
After emigrating to Germany in August 1968, he continued his work and elaborated his therapy at the University Orthopaedic Clinic in Cologne and from 1975 as deputy director of the Munich Children’s Centre. The emphasis of his work was on the therapy of children with cerebral palsy and patients with other motor disturbances. In proof of the efficacy of his therapy, he developed a diagnostic screening process through the use of position responses whereby movement disturbances in early infancy may be recognised early.
Prof Vojta did not want his paediatric neurological knowledge and research material to be solely associated with his person, but rather preferred to develop it further and disseminate it in the team. For this reason, with other doctors and physiotherapists, he founded the Václav Vojta Society (VVS) in 1984.
Purpose and Goals of the Václav Vojta Society (VVG)
The association pursued charitable goals exclusively and directly and in particular committed itself in its rules to the promotion and application of locomotion principles in diagnosis and therapy in accordance with the scientific findings developed by Prof Vojta.
The rules provide for sharing professional experience, coordinating the practical use of Vojta principles in rehabilitation, and training and developing doctors and physiotherapists in the use of these principles with the goal of disseminating Prof Vojta’s scientific work.
These objectives are realised on a national and international level in particular through:
- Training and qualification seminars for physiotherapists and doctors in Vojta development kinesiological treatment in new-born babies, children, youths and adults with movement disturbances
- Education and training for doctors in the diagnostics developed by Vojta for the early recognition of movement disturbances in early infancy
- Further training seminars for trained Vojta therapists and doctors
- Promotion of scientific research
- Talks and congresses
- The compilation of a bibliography.
1994: The Renaming of the Václav Vojta Society (VVG) as the International Vojta Society (IVG)
In 1994, the ever increasing international dissemination of Prof Vojta’s work lead to the society, initially predominantly active in Germany, aligning itself internationally, and the Václav Vojta Society was renamed as the International Vojta Society (IVG).
Contacts abroad became so intensive that the coordination and exchange with colleagues and institutions worldwide active in Vojta reflex locomotion was faced with the tasks of quality assurance in Vojta Therapy and Diagnostics as well as training, further training and qualification and research.
Members and Committees of the International Vojta Society
The International Vojta Society is an organisation of doctors and physiotherapists who work with Vojta Therapy and/or Diagnostics and who possess a Vojta teaching qualification. To remain competent and to swap ideas with other colleagues, most Vojta teaching therapists join the IVS.
The International Vojta Society currently numbers around seventy members worldwide, represented by a five-person board of doctors and physiotherapists.
Alongside doctors and physiotherapists from Germany, the IVS has members from the Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Japan and Korea.
These members represent in part teaching teams from their own countries, where they regularly carry out Vojta training and further training for doctors and physiotherapists alone or together with Vojta teaching therapists and doctors from Germany.
As well as the annual Vojta courses in Germany, for many years there have regularly been Vojta courses offered and held in
- The Czech Republic
There are also currently informational and training courses for doctors and physiotherapists in
Most Vojta teaching therapists work in qualification centres—authorised by the International Vojta Society This close practical collaboration with social paediatric centres, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals guarantees due quality assurance in Vojta Therapy and is therefore laid down in the Standards and Guidelines of the IVS for the Vojta training.
In Germany, there are such qualification centres inBad Wildungen
- Bad Wildungen
The medical theoretical part of Vojta courses for physiotherapists is currently carried out in Munich. This decentralised training, involving in practice small participant groups, makes the patient-oriented approach in Vojta Therapy, always stressed by Prof Vojta, possible.
Research with Help from Course Fees and Donations
As well as providing training in Vojta Diagnostics and Vojta Therapy, the International Vojta Society initiates and supports research work. Thus, for example, a long-term study with premature babies at the Social Paediatrics Centre (SPZ) of the Municipal Clinics Frankfurt/Höchst was supported in order, among other things, to look for correlations between stimulation with reflex locomotion and neurological results as well long-term specific developmental disorders.
Furthermore, in collaboration with the University Orthopaedic Clinic Heidelberg, prognosis parameters for paraplegics exposed to the stages of locomotion and Vojta Therapy have been developed and validated.
The International Vojta Society finances its work in Germany and abroad with membership fees, surpluses from course fees and donations.
The Vojta Teaching Therapists’ Working Group and Expert Committees of the International Vojta Society
As well as working groups for Vojta teaching therapists, Vojta teaching assistants and doctors, characterised by a professional exchange of ideas between different Vojta teachers and teaching assistants, various expert commissions have been formed within the International Vojta Society. Each one has own specialist and organisational duties.
Thus, for example, there is a committee that selects course participants, or an expert advisory board consisting of Vojta course leaders that is responsible for the planning, execution and staffing of Vojta Therapy courses in Germany and abroad.
The professional application of Vojta principles in practice and quality assurance for Vojta qualifications are described in full in the Standards and Guidelines established by the International Vojta Society and are recommended and recognised by the leading health insurance companies in Germany.
Collaboration between the International Vojta Society and Professional Associations in Germany and Abroad
In Germany, the International Vojta Society works on professional and occupational questions in close cooperation with professional associations, i.e. the Deutsche Verband für Physiotherapie / Zentralverband der Physiotherapeuten/Krankengymnasten - ZVK e.V. [the German Association for Physiotherapy / the Central Association of Physiotherapists] and the Bundesverband selbstständiger Physiotherapeuten - IFK e.V. [the Federal Association of Independent Physiotherapists].
Thus, the International Vojta Society annually provides, for example, experts for approximately one hundred and fifty further professional training sessions and events held by Vojta study groups that have been formed under the umbrella of the various professional associations. In these regional study groups, approximately 1600 Vojta therapists trained by the International Vojta Society get together for professional exchanges several times a year.
The International Vojta Society has concluded cooperation agreements with professional associations and interest groups abroad, such as for example with the professional association of physiotherapists in Austria and Norway as well with national interest groups and organisations in Chile, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. These countries too hold professional events for Vojta therapists with experts from the International Vojta Society.
This collaboration has grown over time and was an important concern of Prof Vojta, who while he was alive, would demand in no uncertain terms the correct application of his method, but had at the same time a great deal of interest to ensure a constant exchange of ideas in order to make the most of all the creative possibilities of doctors and physiotherapists as comprehensively as possible.
The Administrative Office of the Internationale Vojta Gesellschaft e.V. and the Cooperation with the Deutsche Akademie für Entwicklungsförderung und Gesundheit des Kindes und Jugendlichen e.V. [the German Academy for the Promotion of Development and Health in Children and Young People]
Vojta courses for physiotherapists in Germany are currently organised and run in conjunction with the Deutsche Akademie für Entwicklungsförderung und Gesundheit des Kindes und Jugendlichen e.V. in Munich.
Deutsche Akademie für Entwicklungsförderung und Gesundheit des Kindes und Jugendlichen e.V.
Tel.: 0049 (0)89 724 968 11
Fax: 0049 (0)89 724 968 20
The International Vojta Society has set up its own administrative office in Siegen, from where various further training programmes for Vojta therapists are organised and run and enquiries from involved parties and therapists/doctors are replied to.
Internationale Vojta Gesellschaft e.V.
Tel.: 0049 (0)271 30 38 39 99
Fax: 0049 (0)271 30 38 39 98