Dr. Ann Wieser is recognized for her contributions to aquatic therapy and rehabilitation and to adapted aquatics. She used her background as a Red Cross Instructor Trainer, Adapted Aquatics Faculty, and her Ph.D. in Education along with her desire to help others and used them to originate and implement one of the first university undergraduate aquatic therapy professional preparation programs in the United States. During this first 1999-2000 school year, over twenty five students enrolled in the unadvertised major at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, one of the first university undergraduate programs in the United States. A strong advocate for the aquatic therapy industry, she continues to sponsor one of very few adapted aquatic instructional credentialing programs in the nation.
As an active and vocal member, she served on the Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Standards Committee setting guidelines for the industry, the Water Safety for Therapy and Rehabilitation Practitioners Committee making therapists and their patients safer in the water. Additionally, she was on the Guidelines and Operating Criteria for Aquatic Therapy Pools Committee working to make warm water pools safer for all users.
Dr. Wieser also conducts peer reviews for The Aquatic Therapy Journal. She mentors aquatic therapy students to become national presenters, write for publication, and to become excellent aquatic therapists.
During her long-standing involvement in aquatics for individuals with special needs, she has provided workshops and demonstrations at national conferences and conventions in the academic and the aquatic worlds. Ann is a member of the AAHPERD/AAALF Aquatic Council and the Adapted Aquatics Specialty Committee. Developing standards for any national program is a very difficult task, second only to administering those standards. Dr. Wieser plays a significant role in both.
Ann's involvement in aquatics began almost fifty years ago when she began teaching swimming in the early 1960's. By 1980, as the High Point, North Carolina YMCA Aquatics Director, she initiated both Special Needs and Special Olympics programs for the High Point City Schools. Moving to Greensboro in 1985, she began similar programs in the city and at the university. In 2000, she received the Aquatics Therapy Professional of the Year Award.