This fall the North Shore Stroke Recovery Centre’s Speech Language Pathology Department partnered with the Rehabilitation Assistant (R.A.) programme at Capilano University.
Penelope Bacsfalvi, together with a few of our members mentored two R.A. students: Caitlin and Alecia. I am sure many of you have met these lovely young women participating in the programming on Wednesday mornings. These students came every Wednesday to our North Shore Neighbourhood House location and spent half a day for two months. They attended a 45-minute tutorial each week with Dr. Bacsfalvi, and then they worked with our members for the rest of the morning.
This pilot project has been a win-win experience. The students have learned a lot from everybody at NSSRC. As these students are first year students, they benefitted from our experienced Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users demonstrating how well they can use different forms of communication tools. Our members mentored the students in AAC through the use of communication books, the TouchChat App on their iPads, gesture, pen/paper and drawing. Alecia and Caitlin were exposed to various forms of communication that can work for people who have lost full or partial spoken communication. They also worked on increasing their skills at becoming more proficient communication partners for persons with aphasia*.
We have enjoyed having Alecia and Caitlin at the NSSRC and hope they will come back and visit us or volunteer with us in the future. Good luck in your future studies.
[*Aphasia is a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written. Aphasia typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. It is very important that all communication partners learn to become proficient facilitative communicators when talking to someone with aphasia.]
~ Penelope Bacsfalvi, PhD, RSLP