Supporting People With Aphasia – Doing It Right?
by Kate Milford on June 29, 2011
The Aphasia Association of New Zealand was formed in 2007, following an expressed need for a specific organisation to support people with aphasia. Our mission is to empower people with aphasia to participate in their own communities.
AphasiaNZ is a registered charity. We run a conference every 2 years, with our next conference being held in November 2011. This is aimed at people with aphasia and health professionals.
The organisation has also recently produced a New Zealand edition of The Stroke and Aphasia Handbook, in agreement with Connect in the UK. We have a training workshop which aims to educate people about aphasia, and provide them with strategies they can use to support conversation. We have a website at www.aphasia.org.nz and a quarterly newsletter for members, as well as an information leaflet. We have a resource library of books to loan to members.
We are also in the process of procuring aphasia therapy software which we will load onto laptops for loan to people who are having speech language therapy. We hope that this will help people to practise more intensively and therefore maximise their recovery.
As an organisation, we are very interested in what other similar organisations are doing to support people with aphasia. We would like to hear from anyone who has strong feelings about what such an organisation should do to support people with aphasia, and what initiatives they know of.
We are very keen to work collaboratively with other organisations. I believe that there is strength in numbers, and that we all have the same objectives in mind – to raise awareness of aphasia, and to empower people with aphasia. How might we work together? Should we have an International Aphasia Alliance?