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Aphasia Groups in Rural Communities: A Conversation with Cathy Off

Aphasia Access Conversations

Episode 41

Aphasia Groups in Rural Communities 
A Conversation with Cathy Off

In this episode, Janet Patterson, Chief of the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Service at VA Northern California, speaks with Cathy Off about creating and sustaining an aphasia group in a rural community.


Dr. Cathy OffDr. Off is an associate professor in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing, & Occupational Sciences in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montana, where she directs the Big Sky Aphasia Program.

In today’s episode, you will learn:

• about disparities in health care for persons living in rural communities
• strategies to identify challenges specific to sustaining an aphasia group in a rural community
• how art, aphasia, and teaching and learning intersect in Missoula, Montana

You can find the podcast online
on the Aphasia Access website or iTunes.
Happy Listening.



UM Program Helps Strokeand Brain Injury Survivors

The Big Sky Aphasia Program took place at the University of Montana Curry Medical Center through July 3rd. The intensive summer program serves individuals, families, and caregivers of individuals with acquired neurogenic communication disorders stemming from stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Participants of the program include students, veterans, and community members from across the state of Montana and stroke or brain injury survivors from across the country. These individuals are recovering from aphasia, and acquired apraxia of speech. The program is operated out of UM’s DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic.

June is also Aphasia Awareness Month. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder typically caused by stroke that impacts an individual’s ability to speak, write, listen, and/or read. It does not impact intelligence.

Members of the media are invited to work with Dr. Catherine Off and Jenna Griffin, co-directors of the program. With permission, they can provide access to the caregivers and patients trying to improve their lives.

Camp Chronicle

Camp CHRONICLE (Creating High-quality Renderings & Original Narratives in Comics in a Language-rich Environment) is an intensive language-literacy day camp for adolescents who have just completed elementary school and would benefit from literacy-learning strategies to better prepare them for the literacy demands of middle school. Participating adolescents will create an original comic in collaboration with the Media Arts Department while learning to improve their literacy skills.

Camp CHRONICLE happens every summer for two weeks in July, Monday-Friday from 9:00am -3:00pm in the lower level of the Curry Health Building (DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic).

For more information about Camp CHRONICLE, please contact Ginger Collins at ginger.collins@umontana.edu