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Sofia Santos, PhD












Name: Sofia Santos, PhD

Location: Portugal

Member since: 2021

Employment: Assistant Professor at Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa

Why did you join AAIDD?   I knew the AAIDD for the first time during my PhD (2007), and I had the honor to have Professor Ruth Luckasson as a member of the jury. Since then, I was always joining AAIDD activities and conferences and had the opportunity to grow up in the field. AAIDD is the most prestigious association for intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the world. The AAIDD, in its interdisciplinary organization, promotes evidence-based advance and social transformation for the real participation of people with IDD in the community, through progressive policies and sound research for effective practices. AAIDD does not “speak”, it put words into action. Initially, the member of AAIDD was the Faculty where I belong. However, due to some economic issues, the membership was cancelled and I decided to go on as an individual member of AAIDD. Being part of the AAIDD family have a tremendous impact on my life, both in personal and professional development. 

Why did you choose the field of intellectual disability?   I am not sure, if I choose the field of IDD or if I was chosen by the field. As a university student, in 1999, and to complete my master's degree, I had to write a research essay. My supervisor (Pedro Morato), an expert in the ID’ field, sat and after we discuss some possibilities, the topic that I chose was adaptive behavior & ID. At the same time, I was practicing, since 1995, as a psychomotor therapist within organizations that provided support for persons with ID. After that, it seemed clear to me that adaptation, quality of support provision, participation, quality of life, rights, self-determination, transition into an adult, and active life… were the paths to go. Therefore, here I am now, almost 25 years later still trying to make a difference and contribute to change.

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