'Stories with Aphasia' project given strong support
'Stories with aphasia', a unique project led by Drs Madeline Cruice and Lucy Dipper from City University London's School of Health Sciences, was given resounding support at a special consultation event last Friday.
The event brought together people with aphasia and their families, communication support workers from the Stroke Association and academics to share their views on how aphasia affects their lives and to provide feedback on the proposed 'Stories with aphasia' project.
It is hoped that the project, which recently made a successful initial application for funding from the Big Lottery Research Communities funding programme, will make a real difference to people's lives.
Dr Cruice, said: "Even though aphasia means that people don't talk or write they way they did before their stroke (or tumour), they still have strong opinions, and with the right support can make these known. It's clear from Friday's consultation that there is strong support for this project."
"Simply doing the project, the process of doing it, helps get the brain into gear - click, click, click - changing my own life, sort of therapy in itself".
Stories with Aphasia
The 'Stories with Aphasia' project is for individuals with aphasia to experience telling their personal story successfully. The project is designed to connect Londoners who have aphasia with volunteers who will act as 'story-buddies', assisting each person to produce a digital multimedia story of their life.
Volunteers will be trained in communication skills by Connect, the communication disability network, enabling them to work effectively with people who have communication problems.
The project will also provide training in developing and recording their story using local links with the Oral History Society at the British Library, as well as multimedia training in videoing and editing, and creative workshops in photography, drawing and storytelling to explore people's stories.
Dr Dipper, said: "This a very ambitious project but we believe that involvement in 'Stories with Aphasia' will not only enhance the communication skills of people with aphasia but also improve their mood and help them feel more engaged in their communities."
Event attendee: "Aphasia is invisible for people don't understand".
It is also hoped that the project can raise awareness about an often misunderstood condition: "By sharing stories through a dedicated website and in a major pubic space we hope that they can really change views on how the public see aphasia," Dr Dipper commented.
The event was recorded creatively by artist and recent speech and language therapy
Alumnus Cat Andrew.