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ESS Alumni in the list of the 100 best entrepreneurs


Paula Valente of ESS, Polytechnic of Porto’s Health School, saw her work distinguished on International Women's Day

On March 8th, the Euclid Network unveiled the Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise. The list distinguishes women entrepreneurs and innovators in the social field. Paula Valente is one of six Portuguese that were distinguished.

Executive director and speech and language therapist at the Portuguese Institute of Afasia - IPA, Paula Valente is on the Euclid Network's Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise list, a network supported by the European Commission that distinguishes social entrepreneurs.

In 2008, Paula Valente graduated in Speech Therapy from the Escola Superior de Saúde (ESS), Polytechnic of Porto’s Health School. Post-graduated in Clinical Communication Skills from the Faculdade de Medicina do Porto, completed a master's degree in Clinical Linguistics from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, with a specialization in therapeutic intervention focused on communication and communicative partners of people with aphasia. She teaches various courses in the field of aphasia at various postgraduate courses and teaching entities. Since 2008, she has worked in various contexts, from the Continuing Care Unit, home and day care centre, physiatry clinic, various educational institutions, homes and private office. She was responsible for training management at a postgraduate health training company.

After several years of study and professional experience with people with aphasia in different public and private contexts, she made the decision to abandon her various jobs to dedicate herself 100% to the creation of a project, at the time called Afasia 3D and now called Association IPAFASIA, better known as Instituto Português da Afasia (IPA). That is how, in 2015, after the pilot project, IPA was born in Matosinhos, having been established as a non-profit association in February 2016.

In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the level of participation of people with disabilities in society, with significant changes in health care provided in countries such as the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, among others. The importance of considering, not only the deficits presented, but the consequences of these in the different domains that influence the well-being and quality of life of those who present them, has come to be valued and considered as the ultimate goal of the therapeutic intervention to be carried out by health professionals.

In this context, IPA brought to Portugal innovative therapeutic approaches that allow to minimize the psychosocial impact of aphasia, bringing the person with aphasia to the centre of decision making and the construction of solutions.

IPA consistently and systematically offers therapies with great scientific evidence that are part of the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) model and that covers all International Recommendations of Good Practice in Aphasia.