SCALE’s Aphasia Friendly Business Campaign; Working with Businesses to Expand Services for People with Aphasia

In January 2011, the Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement (SCALE) launched an “Aphasia-Friendly Business Campaign” to raise awareness of aphasia in Baltimore, build relationships with local businesses and encourage businesses to provide barrier-free access to products and services for people with communication disabilities.

Upon hearing the idea, Zen West Cantina manager, Lynn Gurley and owner Po Chang, immediately jumped at the opportunity to make their restaurant an Aphasia Friendly Business (AFB), but they could not have realized just how smooth and simple the transition would be. Once Gurley fully understood the effect that aphasia –a language impairment usually caused by stroke- has on communication, she realized that a menu with graphics and pictures could easily assist people with aphasia in placing their dinner order. Continue reading the full article…

A Brief History of Aphasia Centers

Aphasia Center of California annual Walk to Talk event

Many Aphasia Centers have a philosophy of service delivery consistent with a social model of healthcare. Pioneers of social approaches to aphasia treatment included Martha Taylor Sarno and Audrey Holland, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that a growing number of aphasiologists began to focus their attention on social approaches to aphasia assessment and intervention. The Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA), a social model framework proposed by Roberta Chapey, Judith Duchan, Roberta Elman, Linda Garcia, Aura Kagan, Jon Lyon, and Nina Simmons-Mackie, had its start during informal discussions and meetings in the early-to-mid 1990s, followed by a formalized working meeting in 1999. LPAA was an independent effort, and, in part, a response to those in the United States who were stating that aphasia therapy was “dead.” Continue reading the full article…

Promoting Wellness Through Action: HARC’s Aphasia Community Taskforce (ACT)

ACT participants(left to right): Joseph Nealy, Cheryl Adamson, Ruth Kamba, Linda Millman, Michael LeBourgeois, Pat Stalsby. Not pictured: Bruno Wesolek, Winston Goodrich and John McDowell.

What is Wellness? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, wellness is “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.” Dr. Blair Justice, author of A Different Kind of Health: Finding Well-Being Despite Illness, and one of the founders of the Houston Aphasia Recovery Center, quotes the U.S. Surgeon General, who said proper measure of health is not the absence of disease but a sense of well-being. Says Dr. Justice, “Well-being means having a deep and abiding sense that, despite the day’s woes, life is good. “ Wellness, then, is a state of health that includes many aspects of one’s life: exercise, eating right, psychological contentment, being productive, and generally doing for oneself what needs to be done in order to have an overall satisfying, and for some, superior quality of life. Dr. Justice defined this as “subjective health.” This is measured by one’s emotional and social well-being, which research has shown has a powerful effect on one’s physical health and even longevity.

For persons living with aphasia (PWA), the term “wellness” takes on a modified meaning. It may still involve exercise and eating right, and, of course, happiness, but throughout the recovery process PWA explore, and eventually come to realize, what “wellness” means for them now as they become comfortable in their new roles as people living with aphasia. Aphasia is isolating because of the loss of language and the lack of education and awareness of aphasia in society. The social and emotional aspects of aphasia become the most prominent parts to a sound recovery as our participants get to the point where they are moving past having the aphasia be the main focus of their lives. Continue reading the full article…

June is Aphasia Awareness Month

June is Aphasia Awareness Month…. a time to put an extra effort in helping raise awareness of aphasia. In the past, many groups and centers have organized various activities throughout June to help raise aphasia awareness; for more details and ideas you can see the National Aphasia Association website, here, and here.

We wanted to feature a couple of events that will happen this June. Please let us know if there is an activity you are planning to organize and we will update this post with the relevant information (you can email us at blog@aphasiacorner.com or add the information in the comments section below). Continue reading the full article…

Aphasia Simulations: What It Might Be Like To Have Aphasia

I have aphasia logo from National Aphasia AssociationThose of us who don’t have aphasia cannot truly understand what it is like, although we can do our best to imagine what it might be like. If we try to put ourselves in the shoes of a person with aphasia, we will likely be better communication partners.

To address this, we are pleased to announce Aphasia Simulations, an online tool designed to help people better imagine what it might be like to have aphasia. The simulations demonstrate different types of language problems in all areas affected by aphasia: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing, and speaking.

Continue reading the full article…

E-books and Audio Books for People with Aphasia

I recently ran into a couple of interesting resources that may be appealing to people with aphasia, who have difficulty with reading, as well as to speech and language pathologists. Continue reading the full article…

Re-connecting through counselling

Harry Counselling

Harry Clarke is a counsellor who specialises in aphasia. He understands the condition, not just because his clients are living with it, but because he has aphasia himself.

Over 20 years ago, aged 35, I had a serious stroke in my sleep. It left me unable to walk, talk, read or write. But it was the inability to communicate with others that was by far the most distressing of my problems.

I was one of the lucky ones. My speech returned. Now I can speak in sentences although I sometimes have word-finding difficulties, especially when tired. But as many will know, this is not always the case. Continue reading the full article…

Diane Ackerman’s One Hundred Names for Love

Some of you may have heard of Diane Ackerman‘s book “One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing”. Below we are sharing an audio interview (and the corresponding transcript) with Diane that has been originally conducted on The Leonard Lopate Show and published on WNYC website.

Transcript

Diane Ackerman and her husband Paul West, both writers, had built their relationship and 40 year marriage on the intricacy of word play. But, when at 74 Paul suffered a stroke that rendered him largely unable to communicate it was not only his joy of communication that was devastated, but also the foundations of their marriage.

One Hundred Names for Love, Ms. Ackerman’s new memoir published by Norton, chronicles the couple’s struggle to rehabilitate Paul and rebuild their relationship. And, I am very pleased that it brings Diane Ackerman back to our show today. It’s always a pleasure to see you.

Continue reading the full article…

Do Do Do

Lori Ramos Cavallo, founder of Care Partners Resource, was the caregiver for 8 years to her mother who survived a massive stroke in 2001. Lupe was left with expressive aphasia and said do.do.do thinking she was saying words. Lori wrote this poem as a tribute to her mother’s ability to overcome this challenge with dignity and grace. Continue reading the full article…

An Interview with Elizabeth McIntyre

Elizabeth McIntyre

On a couple of occasions we’ve featured Aphasia the Movie and Carl McIntyre on the Aphasia Corner Blog. Recently, we had an opportunity to interview Elizabeth McIntyre, Carl McIntyre’s wife. Dr. Barbara Bennett Shadden – a speech and language pathologist and a long-time caregiver to her husband who has aphasia – helped us conduct the interview with Elizabeth.

Part of the extraordinary power of the movie Aphasia is the way the audience is allowed to experience the world – and aphasia – through your husband’s eyes and ears and mind. It is so difficult for those not touched by aphasia to understand how the inability to communicate affects every aspect of life, including one’s sense of self or identity. The movie truly lets us inside Carl’s world.

But what about you…your world…your sense of identity? We catch glimpses of your reality throughout the movie, but it is Carl’s story. Perhaps you would be willing to share a bit of your experiences in answering the following questions: Continue reading the full article…