The COVID-19 pandemic has given many of us a glimpse into what it is like to experience social isolation. For people with aphasia (PWA), social isolation is a common occurrence, even without a pandemic. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that is caused by medical conditions such as stroke and head injury.
According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (2015), over 180,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with aphasia each year. Aphasia can impact speaking, listening, writing, and reading.
Because of the communication difficulty associated with aphasia, PWA often experience reduced social networks, exclusion from activities, and isolation.
Although there is no cure for aphasia, people with aphasia can improve their communication skills through treatment and support. Because of limits in insurance coverage, however, PWA often do not have access to the amount of treatment they need to reach their fullest recovery potential.
One way to overcome this barrier to communication practice is through community conversation groups. Not only do these conversation groups provide an opportunity for communication practice, but they also facilitate social connections and a sense of community.
Club Aphasia of the Triad
At UNC Greensboro Speech and Hearing Center, we take a holistic approach to addressing the needs of people with aphasia. In addition to offering evidence-based aphasia therapy and conducting aphasia research, we provide an aphasia conversation group, Club Aphasia of the Triad (C.A.T.). Through C.A.T., people with aphasia enjoy unstructured conversation with other people with aphasia.
The meetings are facilitated by speech-language pathology faculty from the UNC Greensboro Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders who have expertise in aphasia care. The twice-a-month meetings have been held by Zoom since the start of the pandemic, and attendees have represented a wide range of ages, cultures, types of aphasia, and interests.
Because C.A.T. is not considered a treatment group, there is no charge to those who attend. Attendees report benefits of meeting other people with aphasia and having the opportunity to practice their communication skills in a supportive environment.
C.A.T. meets the first and third Tuesday of each month from 4:30 to 6:00pm. For those who are interested in aphasia therapy, we provide both in-person and remote services following the principles of the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia. There are also opportunities to participate in aphasia research to help advance the field of aphasiology.
Know someone with aphasia, or are you living with aphasia? If you are interested in learning more about the services and/or support that we provide, contact us at