Paula - CEO and Principal Researcher
DED, Lda. is owned and operated by Paula Frederica Hunt, a Portuguese native with a vast teaching experience in both Portugal and the USA, where she holds teaching certificates in both regular and special education. Paula holds both Master and a PHD degrees in Special Education, as well as a Graduate Specialization in International Development.
Paula started her teaching career as a Visual Arts teacher in Portugal and spent the first 5 years of her professional life working in special scholls in the USA - with children "at risk", children with disabilities, children with special education needs, and children and adolescents in conflict with the law, or in the care of the State. While working in segregated settings, such as special schools and institutional care facilities, she became an advocate for Inclusive Education, and has spent most of her teaching carrer educating children, families and other professionals on social inclusion and children's rights.
Throughout her career, she has worked to develop inclusive policies and programs for ALL children and has provided professional development focused on the implementation of Inclusive Education at the national, local school and classroom levels. Paula also worked in Teacher Education, providing novice teachers with the skills, tools and inspiration needed for them to become teachers for ALL children.
After dedicating 20 years to the teaching profession, she transitioned to a long-term consultancy at the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia as the Inclusive Education Specialist and Regional Disability Focal Point. She provided logistical support, technical expertise and capacity development to both Regional and Country level stakeholders. Paula worked to support governments and their partners in developing inclusive systems of education, child protection and social inclusion and worked with various partners including government officials, non-governmental organizations and Disabled Persons Organizations, civil society representatives, etc.
Paula has managed and operated DED Lda. since 2015, and has had the privilege to work in/with: Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Figi, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malasya, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Macedonia, Papua New Guinee, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Rwanda, Russian Federation, Serbia, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Stated of America, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam.