Ad Verheul (English)

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Since 1973 Ad Verheul is working at the Hartenberg Centre, an institute for profoundly mentally retarded people. This Centre belongs to the 's Heeren Loo Zorggroep, a large Dutch organisation for the mentally healthcare.

He started as a therapeutic supervisor and after two years he was promoted to second manager of the department for Occupational therapy of the Hartenberg Centre. In 1976 he has designed and built a special playground for profoundly mentally handicapped people on the Hartenberg Centre. This was a very large project and very unique at the time.

In 1974 Ad Verheul and his colleague Jan Hulsegge (Music teacher) introduced the idea of Snoezelen. When they started and invented this special activity for profoundly mentally handicapped people they called it Primary Activation. It became a great success in a short time! They have never thought that such a simple idea can wake worldwide interest.

Over the years they experienced many new ideas and developments in the range of Snoezelen. In 1979 they decided to build a permanent Snoezelrooms at the Hartenberg Centre.They have received a lot of support for the idea from the board of directors, the parents and the families of the residents. In 1983 they have built a very large Snoezelroom (220 m2).

In 1979 Ad Verheul was made Advisor to Occupational Therapy specialised in Activities for profoundly mentally handicapped people. During this period he has ignited many developments in the day activities for people with profoundly mentally handicaps. Together with his colleguages he has set up one of the largest projects in day activities and this initiative was fully supported by the government and they receive extra financial support for this special project.

In 1983 he was promoted to Manager of the day activities of the Hartenberg Centre and in 1992 to General Manager of the Department for Day Activities. Since 1980 Ad Verheul is hold many Seminars about Snoezelen in other countries. He also organise special theme days Snoezelen in English and German language on the Hartenberg Centre. Since 1980 he has met thousands of people who are interested in Snoezelen all over the world. In 2000 he has designed and realised a new Snoezelcentre of 410 m2.

At the moment Ad Verheul is managing staffmember of the Hartenberg Centre and senior advisor for special projects for people with a profoundly mentally handicap and he organise seminars and courses Snoezelen and special activities for people with a profoundly mentally handicap in the Hartenberg Centre and in foreign countries.

He works together with Professor Krista Mertens from the Humboldt University of Berlin, they have initiated the International Snoezelen Association ( website: The goal of this organisation is to set up a scientific base to Snoezelen.


Report of the Snoezelen Symposium Berlin 2002 (Downloads -> Berlin 2002)

25 jahre Snoezelen entwicklun und aktueller stand (Downloads -> Berlin 2002)

Development of Snoezelen (Downloads -> English)

Internationale Zusatsqualifikation Snoezelen German trainings (Training -> German Training)


To see his Snoezelen Room Click here

Everything about Snoezelen into De Hartenberg (Colum Ad Verheul -> De Hartenberg)

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