Do you know about aphasia?

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Stroke remains the second biggest killer in the world. In Canada alone, someone has a stroke every seven minutes.

Buried in the shocking prevalence of people who will, or have been affected by stroke is that one in three of all stroke survivors acquire aphasia – an invisible communication disorder that leaves people with challenges that make speaking, reading, and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings extremely difficult.

Aphasia masks a person’s competency and intelligence and has an overwhelming impact on the ability to connect with others via conversation – an essential part of personal identity that most of us take for granted.

Imagine not being able to tell a funny joke, provide thoughtful insight on a topic you are passionate about or tell a doctor what is bothering you. What would you do?
Without a way to communicate and connect with others, aphasia puts every human relationship, every life role and almost all daily activities at huge risk and can lead to a life of frustration and isolation.

How does someone with aphasia live a full life?

Aphasia Awareness Month is an opportunity to bring attention to the 100,000 Canadians living with aphasia and show how many have been able to regain the confidence to express themselves, recover a sense of their identity and reconnect with family and friends.

At the Aphasia Institute in Toronto, we provide innovative communication solutions and support to people with aphasia and their families, and develop best practices through our research initiatives and training to help professionals around the globe better understand and work with clients who ‘know more than they can say’. Our thriving local community and international reach demonstrate that there are truly no barriers to living successfully with aphasia – a core belief that drives all the work we do.

The stories of people who have been able to overcome huge language obstacles at the Aphasia Institute are numerous.

One incredible story involves Luciano, a client with severe aphasia whose stroke left him with the use of only a few words and numbers to communicate. With the help of a skilled conversation partner trained extensively in Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia, a methodology developed at the Aphasia Institute, Luciano was able to find the courage and confidence to speak in public and present his life story to his peers.

How are we able to help our clients live without communication barriers?

Like many not-for-profit organizations, it is only through our dedicated staff, Board of Directors, volunteers and generous supporters that we are able to continue to do this important work – and our community of clients, family and friends play a major role in supporting our vision and mission too.

One way our community supports the work of our organization is through their participation in our biggest fundraiser Walk, Talk ‘n Roll.  Last year we had close to 100% participation and 100% of the dollars raised went directly to supporting clients with aphasia.  Without these funds we would be limited in being able to provide the innovative tools and programming that reduce conversation barriers for our clients.

The Aphasia Institute and our supporters continue to be committed to giving hope to our clients and those who deserve the opportunity to live a full and successful life again. Thank you for helping us to continue to change lives.

To find out how you can donate to our Walk on June 8, 2014, visit,

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