National Aphasia Association, Inc. Overview
Programs: The NAA's programs include:
* providing information about aphasia to affected individuals, their families, and the larger community. We also provides referrals to local resources and connect aphasic individuals with each other. Basic information packets are provided free of charge. The information packets include general information about aphasia, tips for communicating with people with aphasia, and other material.
Our NAA web site (www.aphasia.org) offers a way to connect people with aphasia and their families with each other. It also updates visitors on NAA activities. It includes a list of publications available from the NAA, the text of many publications, and previous and current newsletters. The site is intended to be as easy to use as possible by people with aphasia.
Our toll-free telephone number is (800) 922-4622. Many individuals do not have access to computers or have questions that require more personal attention. Each one of the almost 4,000 calls to the toll-free number last year was answered personally by staff. The most frequently asked questions include: Where can I find a stroke support group that will welcome people with speech problems? Are there any clinics in my area that offer speech therapy? Where can I get help now that my insurance has run out? People may also order NAA literature by calling the toll-free number.
The NAA offers publications that are easy to read and include fact sheets, information about national and community resources, and tips for communicating with someone who has aphasia. Other information includes a list of videotapes, a summary of sources of information about the use of computers and adaptive technologies, and information regarding the legal aspects of aphasia. The NAA is committed to providing written materials on additional topics as needs are identified.
The NAA's State Representatives Network is a national network of health care professionals throughout the country that provides information about local resources including the availability of support groups, rehabilitation services, and social services. There are currently 146 state representatives in the network.
The NAA maintains a state-by-state directory of local aphasia groups that supply support and information for individuals with aphasia and their families. There are currently over 400 aphasia community groups listed, and the Resource Center refers individuals to these groups whenever possible. To encourage the growth of a network for younger individuals (ages 13-30) years old, the NAA publishes a directory of names of young people who have acquired aphasia and a list of organizational resources for them. For many people, these groups represent their first entree back into the larger community.
* The establishment of "Speaking Out," a biennial national conference for people with aphasia and their families as well as professionals who work with them.
* The designation of the month of June each year as National Aphasia Awareness Month to bring public attention to aphasia through materials supplied through the NAA.
* The distribution of the American edition of "The Aphasia Handbook: A Guide for Stroke and Brain Injury Survivors and their Families." This edition was edited by Martha Taylor Sarno, MA, MD (hon), an internationally recognized authority in the field of communication disorders and Joan Peters, previous Executive Director, NAA. The book was called "an essential resource for people with aphasia and their families" by Dr. Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author.* The Association's email bulletin, which is sent out monthly.