Want to know how technology can help people with aphasia to read again?
You can learn more about READ-IT by watching the recording of our READ-IT Project Open Event held on September 29th 2021. It took place on Zoom, so people could join from their own living rooms. You will hear about how we ran the project and what we did in therapy. You will hear from some of the people who took part in the research and learn about our results. Our research therapists will demonstrate the technologies that we used and show how they helped.
Over half of all stroke survivors say they have reading difficulties after their stroke (Lived Experience of Stroke Report, The Stroke Association, 2019). Such difficulties have a major impact on quality of life. If you can’t read, activities like shopping, dealing with finances, and accessing the internet can become a nightmare. Reading for pleasure can be lost.
Our READ IT research project aimed to make a difference. With funding from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust (http://www.sirhalleystewart.org.uk/) and donors to City, University of London we developed a new reading therapy for people with aphasia (language problems post stroke). READ IT therapy used mainstream technologies, specifically iPads and Kindles, to help people with aphasia to reconnect with reading. We also brought therapy recipients together into a book club, so that they could share reading strategies and talk about what they read. The first phase of READ IT was conducted at City’s Roberta Williams Centre between September 2019 and February 2020. But when COVID struck we went online, showing that our therapy could also be delivered remotely. In both phases, READ IT was supported by our fantastic students of speech and language therapy.
19 people with aphasia started and completed our READ IT therapy, with resulting gains in reading confidence and enjoyment. Some of our participants told us that this was their first independent reading since their stroke and the first time since then that they had read a book.
Find out more by watching the video recording and accessing the presentation slides here.
The CommuniCATE project has a themed session at this year’s BAS Therapy Symposium (Bristol, 13th and 14th September 2017).
The CommuniCATE project at City, University of London is exploring the use of computer technologies in therapy for approximately eighty people with aphasia. The therapy approaches that will be covered in this themed session are: Assistive technologies for reading (Kindle Fire and ClaroRead), Assistive technologies for writing (Dragon Naturally Speaking and WriteOnline) and Online Supported
Conversation (Skype). The themed session will introduce the project, and then present a series of case studies highlighting the work completed. There will be time for discussion after each presentation.
Further details: http://www.bas.org.uk/index.php/symposia/
This event will celebrate the achievements of the CommuniCATE project and will present initial findings to people who have participated.
Many people with aphasia have taken part in CommuniCATE and received speech and language therapy. Forty-eight speech and language therapy students at City, University of London took part in the project. CommuniCATE also provided training to Speech and Language Therapists covering the use of digital technologies in aphasia therapy.
On this dissemination day, you will
– Hear some provisional results from the project.
– Discover the innovative therapies
– Meet people with aphasia who took part
– Have a chance to ask questions.
CommuniCATE research SLTs Katie Chadd, Katie Monnelly and Anna Caute travell to Bristol on Thursday 18th May to present a workshop at the Computers in Therapy Clinical Excellence Network (CIT CEN). The workshop focused on reading and writing technologies, giving attendees an opportunity to gain hands-on experience of using four technologies and to reflect on how they could be used in clinical practice. We presented two case studies illustrating how participants in the CommuniCATE project have used the Kindle Fire and WriteOnline software, the therapy approaches taken and the results.
The CommuniCATE team held a training session on using Skype in Speech and Language Therapy on Wednesday 21st September 2016. It was attended by 25 Speech and Language Therapists, volunteers, Occupational Therapists and Rehabilitation Support Workers. They had a conversation with a person with aphasia over Skype using an iPad, learnt how to make group calls, send photos and share screens on Skype and heard about case studies from the CommuniCATE project. Feedback was extremely positive with attendees commenting that the training was “inspiring” and had given them lots of ideas about how to integrate Skype into their practice.
Interested in technology for aphasia? Have a look at the latest version of the Aphasia Software Finder, developed with funding from The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia. (No connection to CommuniCATE, we just think it’s a valuable resource.)
Anna Caute, researcher on CommuniCATE, is currently located at the Royal London Hospital in Tower Hamlets, part of Barts Health NHS Trust. In keeping with the ethos of the Community Stroke Team where she is based, she visits participants in their own homes to carry out assessments and therapy. The aims of the secondment are to:
- Disseminate the CommuniCATE methods, through training and joint working
- Trial the CommuniCATE therapies in an NHS setting and explore potential barriers, e.g. using Skype
- Trial the CommuniCATE technological approaches with people who do not meet the main project’s recruitment criteria, e.g. those who are not fluent users of English or who have severe cognitive impairments.
Anna has seen six participants in Tower Hamlets, who have taken part in all the different strands of the project. She has delivered training for the Community Stroke, Speech and Language Therapy and Acute Stroke teams. She is currently working with a rehabilitation support worker and a speech and language therapist, to deliver supported conversation over Skype for a gentleman who has severely impaired cognition.
Find out more about using technology in aphasia therapy: CommuniCATE will run a workshop titled “Using Technology in Aphasia Therapy to Facilitate Reading and Writing” at the International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, December 2016.
An important aim of CommunCATE is to enhance the training of new entrants to the Speech and Language Therapy profession. In line with this aim, the project has created two internships for newly qualified SLTs. The interns will be involved in all aspects of our research, including assessing participants, delivering therapy and supporting data analysis. Following a very competitive selection process we are delighted that Katie Chadd and Jessica Layton will be taking up the roles. They both completed the City Post Graduate Diploma in Speech and Language Therapy in July 2016, following first degrees in Medical Neuroscience (Katie) and Sociology and Theatre Studies (Jessica).
We are very proud that Katie Monnelly received a Mentor of the Year award for “individual practice educator” from the School of Health Sciences at City University London. The award recognised the work that Katie has been undertaking with speech and language therapy students as part of CommuniCATE. She received the award at a special ceremony in March 2016. Find out more at https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2016/march/celebrating-staff-and-student-successes-at-annual-prize-giving-ceremony.