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UM News
June 13, 2013

MISSOULA –The RiteCare Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic at the University of Montana is hosting a cost-effective, high-quality, research-driven intensive speech-language therapy program for individuals with aphasia stemming from stroke or traumatic brain injury. Aphasia, an acquired communication disorder, can impact all communication modalities, including speaking, understanding, reading and writing.

The UM Big Sky Aphasia Program (UM-BSAP) began in summer 2011. This summer marks the fourth session, with the largest enrollment to date, and includes participants ranging from 30 to 70 years old. Research shows that intensive therapy leads to improved speech and language function in adults with aphasia regardless of severity, type of aphasia, education, age or stage of recovery. UM-BSAP is the only intensive aphasia program in the region, and is offered at a lower cost compared to similar programs across the country.

Participants in UM-BSAP receive nine to 12 hours of individual, group and computer-based therapy per week. Sessions are supervised by Annie Kennedy and Catherine Off. Prior to coming to UM, Kennedy served as senior speech pathologist/assistant clinical services manager at the University of Michigan Aphasia Program. Off is the director of adult services at the UM RiteCare Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic. Off’s clinical research investigates the relative contribution of components of intensive therapy and telerehabilitation for individuals with aphasia. UM-BSAP is in session through June 27.

UM-BSAP is accepting applications for the fall 2013 program, which runs Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 23-Oct. 23, with post-testing occurring the week of Oct. 23. Pre-testing for the fall program runs Sept. 3-20. Participants must be medically stable adults with aphasia stemming from a brain injury or stroke. The application deadline for fall 2013 is Aug. 20. Visit the RiteCare Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic website at http://coehs.umt.edu/departments/csd/Aphasia%20Program.php for more information or to download an application.

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Contact: Annie Kennedy, assistant professor, UM Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, 406-243-2375, annie.kennedy@umontana.edu.