To reduce social isolation in people with aphasia
- by ensuring that effective technologies are adapted, developed, tested and adopted in a responsible and effective way
- by facilitating collaboration and cooperation
- by bringing together technology and aphasia professionals, researchers, academics and other interested parties
- by involving people who have the condition
- by coordinating a nationwide strategy.
Aphasia is a condition caused by injury to the brain, most commonly caused by a stroke, which affects the ability to communicate. Other causes include severe head injury, brain tumours or infections. The NHS describes how “people with aphasia make mistakes with the words they use, sometimes using the wrong sounds in a word, choosing the wrong word or putting words together incorrectly. Aphasia also affects speaking and writing in the same way. Many people with the condition find it difficult to understand words and sentences they hear or read”.
Some cases are milder than others but some are so severe as to make communication almost impossible. It is rarely possible to tell that someone has aphasia just by looking at them. Research shows that people with aphasia often lose confidence and become socially isolated once their therapy has finished. The NHS does not have the finances or human resources to continue with therapy although evidence shows that continued improvements are possible.
There is also evidence showing that technology can play a vital role in reducing social isolation by enhancing communication, well-being and social inclusion.
Developments in technology are happening at an increasingly fast pace and there is great potential for these to help people with aphasia. But even existing technologies, some of which have been around for a number of years and are low cost, are not yet being used by people with aphasia although they have great potential to improve quality of life. Our mission is to change this.