Jennifer Sweeney, B.A.(Hon), M.Sc.


Photo credit: Elaine at Organic Acres

Jennifer worked as a speech-language pathologist and consultant for 20 years, helping preschool children, young adults and seniors in the health care system and in private practice. Her consultancy work was mainly related to the not-for-profit community in British Columbia. She retired from active clinical practice in 2007 but maintained a small practice and her professional certification until 2011.

Jennifer graduated from UBC in with first-class honours in speech sciences, and was offered full funding to continue her studies in speech-language pathology at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. The speech-language pathology program at Purdue is consistently ranked in the top 5 programs in the United States, and ranked #2 in 2009. She held positions as a research assistant and a teaching assistant. She was also a staff resident at Young Graduate House.

After graduation from Purdue in 1991, Jennifer completed her clinical fellowship at the prestigious Marshfield Clinic, in Wisconsin, with three clinical rotations: Voice, Rehabilitation and Pediatrics. Upon her return to Vancouver to practise the profession, she spent many years working with preschool children as well as adults with brain injury and stroke survivors and their families.

In 2000, Jennifer founded the BC Aphasia Centre to support the estimated 10,000 people in British Columbia living with aphasia, a loss or impairment of language from a brain injury, most commonly a stroke. The BCAC achieved charitable status in September 2001 and operated with volunteers until the spring of 2007 when members voted to transfer assets to the Stroke Recovery Association of BC. In June of 2008, Jennifer was awarded the Associate Certificate in Leadership and Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Other positions with provincial scope that Jennifer has held include Provincial Consultant for Pediatric Therapists, with a focus on recruitment and retention; Provincial Coordinator for Strengthening Family and Youth Voices, a project with the Canadian Mental Health Association funded by Health Canada; and the Community Outreach Service at G.F. Strong Rehab Centre, a liaison service with former patients and community service providers.

Jennifer has extensive experience in delivering and planning adult educational activities, from presentations to workshops as well as organizing themed conferences. She is Past-President of the Canadian Women Voters Congress, former Treasurer of the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and a volunteer for several organizations in the community.

After suffering from the pain of multiple sclerosis related trigeminal neuralgia, Jennifer retired from her career in speech-language pathology. Jennifer lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her husband, Daniel.