National Aphasia Association, Inc.

Rating: 4.86 stars   14 reviews

Issues: Health, Cancer

Location: 350 Seventh Ave Suite 902 New York NY 10001 USA

Mission: The NAA''s mission is to educate the public to know that the word aphasia describes an impairment of the ability to communicate, not an impairment of intellect. The NAA makes people with aphasia, their families, support systems, and health care professionals aware of resources to recover lost skills to the extent possible, to compensate for skills that will not be recovered and to minimize the psychosocial impact of the language impairment. The NAA respects and values cultural and linguistic differences and makes every effort possible to acknowledge the impact of culture and language on the performance of each individual with aphasia. The NAA provides supportive and advocacy services to all persons with aphasia regardless of individuals'' race-ethnicity, religious affiliation, cultural and cognitive linguistic background or sexual orientation.
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.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

The National Aphasia association remains the only unified voice for those with aphasia, serving to educate and support people across the country and even overseas. While it delivers no direct therapy service, it helps people learn about what services are available to assist them in recovery and adjustment to life with persisting communication challenges.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attending and participating in their regional and national conferences, and in seeing how networking can assist people with aphasia to live better.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase its visibility and prominence nationally.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization was formed just 2 decades ago, but due to its unique Mission (advocacy for individuals with aphasia and their caregivers) the association has steadily expanded its outreach and influence across the country. On a small budget and with a small but might staff, the NAA reaches out both to professionals with interests in aphasia (speech-language pathologists, neurologists, psychologists, social workers, etc) and individuals with aphasia across the country. The NAA holds semi annual regional and national "Speaking Out!" conferences, publishes a quarterly newsletter, maintains an "aphasia-friendly" website, distributes an excellent Aphasia Handbook, and provides support for community groups across the country.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

....accessing the publications and other materials the NAA has developed to assist individuals with aphasia and their families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the annual budget to allow the NAA to increase its outreach to greater numbers of individuals across the country and to support marketing to the general public to increase awareness of the disorder "aphasia" and the social and economic impact of that disorder, and to promote "aphasia friendly" communication environments across the country.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The National Aphasia Association is a direct link to communication advocacy. I volunteer for this association because it has all the right resources at all the right times. The web resources are fantastic. When people lose their communication, the NAA and it's many volunteers are the key to unlocking doors to independence in meeting necessary and social needs and helping those individuals maintain dignity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I volunteer and utilize it's resources with my clients

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wish for more financial resources to touch more lives

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