Aphasia Awareness Month recognized by Gov. Ricketts during proclamation ceremony
20 Jun 2019
Alyssa Mount, a master’s student in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s speech-language pathology program, wanted to increase the general public’s knowledge about aphasia. She found a new platform by getting Aphasia Awareness Month included in the June 17 proclamation ceremony with Governor Pete Ricketts at the Nebraska State Capitol.
“I always have a goal in mind that if we can teach at least one person in the community what aphasia is and how it can impact people, then that’s one more person who can use that knowledge,” Mount said.
Aphasia is a disorder of understanding and using symbols, most evident in difficulty using or understanding language. It is caused by damage to the brain, often as the result of a stroke.
For the past two years, Mount has organized the annual Aphasia Awareness Walk in early June on East Campus. She noticed it was difficult to promote the event because many people are not familiar with the term aphasia. This realization led her to pursue having Aphasia Awareness Month included in the June proclamation ceremony.
“Building that awareness can help create empathy and acceptance when a person encounters someone who has aphasia or difficulty communicating,” Mount said. “That’s what made being included in the ceremony so important – it’s a way to advocate for individuals who might not have the means to advocate for themselves and their needs.”
The Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic on East Campus offers a variety of supports for individuals with aphasia, including group and individual services. It also sponsors the Aphasia Community Partners Program, which pairs a volunteer with a person with aphasia. These services help people with aphasia participate in community activities which seek to improve social engagement and decrease isolation for individuals who have aphasia.
To learn more about the services for people with aphasia offered at the Barkley Clinic, visit https://go.unl.edu/barkley-clinic.
College of Education and Human Sciences