Association Internationale Aphasia, AIA

is a non-profit organization. It was founded by the late Raymond Bassem. It consists of representatives from national aphasia associations, particularly in Europe, but also in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Argentina and Australia.

AIA has its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.


The Registered Office of Association Internationale Aphasie (AIA) is moving.

In the interim please write to:

Melanie Derbyshire
AIA Secretary
c/o Stroke Association House,
240 City Road, London EC1V 2PR, United Kingdom


The development and launch of the Association Internationale Aphasie (AIA) – Aphasia International Association, was the vision of Raymond Bassam and other people with aphasia from the Belgian Federation of Francophone Aphasics (FéBAF) supported by colleagues from aphasia organisations across Europe.

The first European Aphasia Congress was organised in Brussels on 26/27 May 1989 was attended by 418 people from 20 different countries and it was then that AIA was born.  AIA was formally constituted as a Belgian International non-profit organisation (AISBL) and began its work creating better links between aphasia organisations from different countries. Notably, further European Aphasia Congress meetings took place in Montreal 1993 and Würzburg 1995.  An International guide for aphasics was published in 1994.

Since then, the delegates of AIA – one from each member country – have met once a year for the General Assembly meeting.  At this meeting, issues related to aphasia are discussed with the aim of improving the communication among member countries and organisations around the world.  Many examples of best practice and ideas for joint projects have been discussed.  Day-to-day matters are managed by the elected President and elected Board, which includes Secretary, Treasurer and general administrators – all serving a 3 year term.  All positions are voluntary.

A turning point in the history of AIA was in October 2008 at the AIA General Assembly meeting held in Tallinn, Estonia. A provisional Board of Governors took over the leadership of AIA until an extraordinary GA was held in April 2009 in Brussels to discuss AIA’s future and issues including how to make AIA more accessible to possible member countries. This meeting was followed by a regular GA meeting in September 2009 in Brussels, where the future of AIA, questions about the constitution, new statutes and membership were discussed.

As of September 2009, AIA began its process of renewal and rebuilding the organisation. Dr Jacqueline Stark (Austria) was re-elected as President at the 2012 General Assembly meeting in Toulouse, France and led the organisation for a further term.  From 2016- 2019, Presidency of AIA passed to Melanie Derbyshire (UK) and during this time the organisation worked hard to involve more people with aphasia both as contributors at meetings and as members of the Board.   

The 2020 elected President is Jernej Sluga (Slovenia) and once again AIA members are pleased to have someone living with aphasia in the leadership role.