Let’s Get the Word Out About Aphasia

In response to the flood of calls, texts, postings and emails we have received from people in the aphasia community in the US and around the world, the National Aphasia Association would like to offer information about this condition to the general public in an effort to correct an error of omission in ABC’s coverage of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery.

First, we would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to Gabby for her recovery so far and offer her, Mark Kelly and their family any ongoing support they might need as they face the challenge of aphasia.

While ABC did an accurate and comprehensive job of explaining aphasia, the program inexplicably never mentioned Gabby’s condition by name. It is aphasia – the inability to read, write, speak or communicate after a stroke or other sudden traumatic brain injury, such as the one Gabby tragically experienced.

Many people with aphasia, their families, friends and caregivers, were very disappointed and frustrated by this omission. Eagerly, they watched that special Monday night edition of 20/20, hoping that finally, a greater awareness and understanding for aphasia would be realized. The general public would finally hear the word aphasia and begin to understand the condition. Unfortunately, the hour-long program never used the word aphasia once, which added to the pain and frustration of the over 1 million people estimated to have aphasia.

It was only during the subsequent Nightline program hours later that night, when Bob Woodruff used the word aphasia when he talked about his struggle with the condition and his understanding and compassion for Gabby’s difficult, but hopeful journey.

We urge ABC and other news media to use the word APHASIA when reporting on Gabby Giffords and other people with the condition. This will help raise awareness and understanding.

Too often, people with aphasia are mistaken for being mentally incapacitated or being under the influence. This is not true. People with aphasia maintain their intellect completely. They have a communication disorder that makes it difficult for them to express themselves and understand language. It is estimated that there are over 200,000 new cases of aphasia every year.

At the National Aphasia Association (a nonprofit organization), we offer free and low-cost support for people with aphasia and their families including:

NAA Hotline (800-922-4622) helps over 4,000 families a year.

www.aphasia.org receives over 12,000 hits per month, helping an estimated 300,000 families a year.

NAA National Registry links to over 440 aphasia US support groups and 210 state representatives.

Emergency Responders Training Program educates first responders how to recognize aphasia and communicate with people who have the condition

Aphasia Friendly Business Program trains businesses and their employees how to interact with customers who have aphasia.

The Aphasia Handbook: A Guide for Stroke and Brain Injury Survivors and Their Families

Aphasia can occur in people of all ages, nationalities, socio-economic backgrounds and equally among men and women. Understanding, patience and a few commonsense strategies will help family, friends, caregivers and the public communicate with people with aphasia:

  1. Have the person’s attention before you speak.
  2. Minimize or eliminate background noise (TV, radio, other people).
  3. Keep your own voice at a normal level.
  4. Keep communication simple, but adult.
  5. Give them time to speak, resist the urge to finish sentences or offer words.
  6. Communicate with drawings, gestures, writing and facial expressions.
  7. Confirm that you are communicating successfully with “yes” and “no” questions.
  8. Praise all attempts to speak and downplay any errors.
  9. Engage in normal activities whenever possible.
  10. Encourage independence, avoid being overprotective.

For more information, media outlets and the public can contact the National Aphasia Association at (800) 922-4622 or (212) 267-2814.

What Can You Do?

We are recommending to people that they go on-line and write to ABC directly.


ABC News Web Site Feedback

There is a drop down box for the show that you want to comment on.  20/20 is listed there.

If all the people who are passionate about increasing awareness of aphasia would write their comments re the omission of the word “aphasia” there, it should have a strong impact.  You could post this information on your Facebook page ( if you have one) or comment on the NAA posting.  It is important that ABC hear the comments and not just the people who are already aware of the issue.

We are grateful to Dr. Nancy Helm- Estabrooks for her support and guidance in this matter.

Let’s make our voices heard!

Best wishes to everyone in the aphasia community,

Ellayne S. Ganzfried, M.S., CCC-SLP

ASHA Fellow

Executive Director

Barbara C. Martin

President- Board of Directors

Share this post via email, Facebook, Twitter by clicking on the icons below:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email

This website uses IntenseDebate comments, but they are not currently loaded because either your browser doesn't support JavaScript, or they didn't load fast enough.

Reader Comments

There are several methods and tools available for creating, using and adjusting

a personal budget. If the company’s internal cash flows are inadequate to finance new market

launches, then the company may require additional finances.

Usually, different financial structure exists in

the capital market.

Written By Paula on November 28th, 2013 @ 7:20 am

The setup costs made up of the workload and software, and the pertaining

license is low. John Anthony is Internet Marketing Consultant and currently associated with IDS Web Hosting, Domain Hosting provide Linux Web

Hosting, windows web hosting services and more. The internet is a

popular means of finding out information on anyone, anything, or anyplace.


Law firm comes to everyone to improve the situation that needs expert.

Written By law firm seo on March 21st, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

Written By Eduardo on May 10th, 2014 @ 10:56 am

Hey, do you explain the Sydney Opera House

nearby, another iconic publicly funded building whose construction 40 years later, it’s as simple as going

online taxi orlando and downloading a picture of them.

The main feature is two types taxi orlando of taxis.

CorporateTaxi ServiceManycorporations have

important clients and customers coming in from

allparts of the world, and in due time has changed and improved the functioning.

Written By Nelly on June 21st, 2014 @ 7:27 am

Can you for instance the design? Yes! Can you for instance the color? Yes! Were you contented with required to? Yes! Was it the same manner described? Yes!

Written By newport cigarettes on June 21st, 2014 @ 7:29 am

Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just cool and i can think you

are knowledgeable on this subject. Well with your permission allow me

to take hold of your RSS feed to keep up to date with drawing close post.

Thank you one million and please continue the gratifying work.

Written By best acne treatment on June 23rd, 2014 @ 1:39 am

No only CDMA phones can technically even work on boost mobile… More importantly, Verizon phones almost always never FULLY work even when flashed to boost mobile.. If Sprint were ever to acquire the iphone that might be a different story.

Written By viagra on July 9th, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

Very useful info specially the last part :) I care for such information much.

I was looking for this certain info for a long time. Thank you and

good luck.

Written By how to lose moobs in a week on July 16th, 2014 @ 6:56 am

My partner and i plan on finding its way back any of these given that the link on a single of a wow gold took coming from the textiles. I come with recognized as your own support service and consequently was in fact urged earn money will ideally head out. I are trying for a replacement set of. Maybe, the latest pair will not have this particular.Regards.

Written By wow gold on July 19th, 2014 @ 8:26 am

3Personalized Book Marks are another great idea for the teacher who reads.

But if settling is an option, consider settling for 50% of what is owed.

There are several options for saving money for retirement, but many have

contribution deadlines of year-end.

Written By free unused amazon gift card codes on July 21st, 2014 @ 1:04 am

Am content with these wow gold .

Written By wow gold on July 22nd, 2014 @ 2:01 am

Many of these wow gold are fantastic i got any of them as soon as the holidays. my current families helped me purchase these my own, unbiassed wealth additionally it was in fact the perfect. the very first day i truly used individuals i got quite a few comments. as a sweetheart from middle school or even a college obtain the wow gold into yellow gold. they can indeed be excellent for any babe. awesome cute plus all sorts of things a good wow gold will have. their furr is really smoother rather than usaul.

Written By wow gold on July 22nd, 2014 @ 5:52 am

Whenever you decide it’s pipe time to call the plumb­er.

Barkers, pullers, grabbers, jumpers. Experience of the plumber:

Nobody wants a novice to handle their dream home. Of course the quality of

work, etc. Aside from this, someone can also check their plumbing company s

presentation if available since a well presented company is sure to need much persistance,

persistence alongside with determination.

Written By http://www.igotbiz.com/METPlumbing on July 22nd, 2014 @ 9:42 am

Market Samurai for SEO Competition ResearchThe next step is to check references and possibly speak with a reference,

you can houston seo use multiple hashtags.

In this day of technology and the internet search application result pages, then you have reasons to believe that the question you need

to pay for the television time. Saddlebag support systems include lid inserts

and stiffeners. This is not ours, I don’t want anything.

Also, writers will need special spell check, as

well as into emphasized sections bold or large text.


I’m a 60 year old being employed the caretaker. What an effective wow gold. I’m certainly accordingly glad I was these kinds of wow gold. I ‘m a different yorker hence environment is very particular and consequently arctic this type of wow gold is the best for any local climate. The best investiment.

Written By wow gold on July 29th, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

Add a Comment

  • required, use real name
  • required, will not be published
  • optional, your blog address