This program provides a service to the community by pairing individuals with aphasia who have completed formal therapy services with caring adults for the purpose of supported communication. The idea is based on current research and theory that suggests that individuals with chronic aphasia can benefit from continued opportunities for conversation beyond the treatment phase of their rehabilitation.
Although most individuals with aphasia develop their own compensation strategies, they continue to be reluctant to use these strategies with individuals outside their immediate family and circle of friends. This can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and other negative psychosocial effects.
Communication partners provide an opportunity for the person with aphasia to have a pleasurable experience with conversation by helping him or her communicate. These experiences can lead to “communication confidence,” which in turn leads to greater communication and emotional wellbeing. We provide volunteers with a short training session and pair them with individuals who have aphasia and who may share the same interests or locality. An experienced speech pathologist is available for consultation.