About Us

The ImaginationGYM® methodology was authored by Rosaleen Durkin and Peter Blackbyrne between 1999 and 2001. This included the development of 10 adventure worlds and accompanying activities.

In 2001 prototypes were made of five of the adventure worlds which included The Enchanted Forest. The remaining titles are still being tested today. The next title to be publicly released is The Magic Balloon Ride.

The prototypes were put into over four hundred field test sites, mainly in Ireland but also in other parts of Europe and Northern America. Field test sites ranged from primary schools, many different types of special educational environments, hospitals, clinics, women’s refuge centres and prisons.

The field testing was done in conjunction with experts in various fields such as educationalists, clinical psychologists, and therapists across a variety of disciplines.

Extensive field testing took place with parents and teachers

Feedback from field testing is very valuable and influences final design. This applies to both the audio products and the activity books. Feedback is collected, evaluated and assimilated from practitioners, parents and children. The final audio programs are recorded in the ImaginationGYM® associated recording studio in Hollywood, California, USA. The quality of the recording demands the technology the movie industry there affords.

The field testing programs led to interest from a number of institutions some of whom asked us to run projects. “In service training” was approved by the Department of Education in Ireland, along with presentations and seminars throughout Ireland in the Department of Education Centres for teachers, S.N.A’s (Special Needs Assistants) and parents. In addition a module on ImaginationGYM® was included on a Primary Degree Program in Bath Spa University in England (2003) and on a Master’s Degree Program in Queens University, Northern Ireland (2004). Other lectures include inclusive education and a workshop on a Master’s Counselling course in Liverpool Hope University (2009). Further programs were run on an Assistive Technology Diploma Course with Queens University Campus in Armagh, Northern Ireland and further projects with third level institutions are being planned.

During this period, long term research projects were set up so that the effectiveness of ImaginationGYM® could be monitored over a sustained period of time. One project in a school in inner city Dublin has been in progress for five years. It has given valuable feedback on the practical application of ImaginationGYM® and its long term benefits. We have been involved in a number of Department of Justice and DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) funded projects. Other projects included training in Early Intervention in Interface Schools in Belfast, Northern Ireland. These projects help us deliver practical information as well as educational theory on training courses to participants.