Our History and Mission



I no longer feel isolated. Aphasia Access has validated the LPAA approach, provided networking support, and broadened my expectations of change in aphasia rehabilitation.

 Maura English Silverman 
Triangle Aphasia Project



Our Mission...

Aphasia Access: Growing a network of healthcare, business, and community leaders to advance lifelong communication access for people with aphasia.

Who We Are…

If you are a community advocate who yearns to start an aphasia program (or strengthen your current program), Aphasia Access is your pathway to success.

Aphasia Access is the communication resource for every professional who strives to help people with aphasia from the moment an individual coping with the language loss of aphasia enters a hospital, progresses through rehabilitation, and then on to a dramatically changed life. Doctors, nurses, caseworkers, stroke unit personnel, plus occupational, physical, and speech therapy teams are only a few of the busy professionals faced with the difficult task of giving or getting information from someone struggling to communicate. Aphasia Access knows how to lessen the frustration and increase effectiveness.  We provide essential communication tools, mentoring, and networking with leading aphasia experts throughout North America.

For university professors teaching the next generation, and students pursuing career paths to help people with aphasia, Aphasia Access means understanding a leading model that dramatically impacts the ability of people with aphasia to access everyday interactions and activities.

What We Believe…

We believe a world is possible where all people with aphasia participate fully in life.

Aphasia Access service providers and researchers believe that:

  • people with aphasia should have access to services that not only improve language and communication, but also help them participate in life’s interactions and activities
  • professionals who serve those with aphasia must strive to create environments people with aphasia can successfully navigate
  • professionals who serve those with aphasia deserve practical strategies, ongoing support, and a network of peers.

We believe that the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) is essential to all professionals who help people with aphasia. This holistic service model offers concrete strategies pertaining to a person’s environment, life situation, personal identity, attitude, and feelings, in addition to their language impairment.


Every now and then, a group of innovators, researchers, and program founders realize the outcomes they have measured, and the services they have provided, have profoundly improved the landscape of what is possible for the people they serve. Aphasia Access grew out of the unmet needs of people living with aphasia as well as frustration with dwindling funding, constraints on services, and a desire for more meaningful outcomes for people with aphasia.  The publication of the Life Participation Approaches to Aphasia (LPAA) position paper offered a new paradigm. Aphasia centers and innovative clinical programs around North America began to embrace LPAA values. However, program leaders yearned for a coordinated mechanism for sharing information, solving challenges and helping new providers. Aphasia Access is meeting this need.

In 2011, at the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, NJ, then again in 2013, at the Aphasia Center of West Texas in Midland, TX, aphasia leaders from 15 US cities and two Canadian provinces gathered to realize the potential of their collective impact. By May of 2014, Aphasia Access was granted 501(c)(3) status. The organization’s inaugural Leadership Summit was held Boston University in March 2015.