How was IPA born?
The IPAFASIA association, better known as Portuguese Institute of Aphasia (IPA), was created by the leader of this project, Paula Valente. Paula is a speech and language therapist and because of her passion for the aphasia area and after several years of study and profissional experience with people with aphasia in different public and private contexts, in the end of 2014, she took the decision to quit their jobs to dedicate 100% to the creation of this project, at that time with the name of “Afasia 3D”. In addition to her sense of mission and commitment to the cause, Paula Valente held several training courses in the field of social entrepreneurship and invited some people with a specialized curriculums in the area of aphasia and in complementary areas, and invited also people with aphasia and their families to join her in this adventure. That way, in 2015, after the pilot project, IPA born in Matosinhos, having been established as a non-profit association in February 2016.
The context in which IPA emerges…
In the last years, we start seeing more concern about the level of participation in the society for disabled people, occurring significant changes in the healthcare services provided in countries like USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and others. The importance of considering, not only the deficits presented, but also the consequences of those in the different domains that influence well-being and quality of life for the ones who present it, start to be valued and considered as the final goal of the therapeutic intervention to be carried out by the health professionals.
In this context, IPA brought to Portugal innovative therapeutic approaches that allows to minimize the psychosocial impact of aphasia, bringing the person with aphasia to the center of the decision making and to the construction of solutions. IPA offers in a consistent and systematic way, therapies with great scientific evidence that are part of the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia model and covering all international recommendations for aphasia Rehabilitation.
That way, the IPA mission is to improve the quality of life for the people with aphasia and their families, and for that intervenes with three target audiences:
- Person with aphasia
- Family and friends
IPA makes the difference because, with their actions and services:
- Increases the opportunities for participation and social involvement of people with aphasia allowing them to feel more integrated and to resume their roles and the psychological, social and relational well-being;
- Involves families/friends and the community that surrounds them, increasing their knowledge about what aphasia is, what it means to live with aphasia and what strategies to use to facilitate the communication with the person with aphasia;
- Inserts itself in the community in a logic of inclusion and proximity with local partners, and agents of change;
- Complements the individual speech therapy (mostly present in clinics and hospitals) focused on linguistic stimulation, enhancing the results obtained in terms of communication itself;
- Intervene from the acute to chronic phase, trying to minimize the impact of these early stages e prepare/train all those involved for future challenges;
- It is based on the experience of homologous organizations with good results, widely published (Life Participation Approach to Aphasia) and on evidence based practice;
- Innovates taking into account the challenges of organizations with a social mission, being concerned not only with the impact but also with the sustainability of their solutions;
- Invest in team work and in the qualified training of its professionals.
- Social responsability
- Social innovation