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Aphasia Access Conversations

How We’re Reducing Communication Barriers

Aphasia Access Conversations brings you the latest aphasia resources, tips, and aha moments from Life Participation professionals who deliver way more than stroke and aphasia facts. Topics include aphasia group treatment ideas, communication access strategies, plus ways for growing awareness and funds for your group aphasia therapy program. This podcast is produced by Aphasia Access.

Mar 10, 2020

Jerry Hoepner, a faculty member in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, speaks to today’s guest, Julia Halvorson, from MnCAN – Minnesota Connect Aphasia Now.

Julia Halvorson is a founding member and Executive Director of MnCAN and is passionate about the opportunity to develop aphasia programs that will connect people with aphasia and their care partners in Minnesota.  MnCAN is a nonprofit organization that has focused on providing supported conversation and life participation approaches to aphasia since it began in 2014.  Julia directs a staff of 17 Speech pathologists and 2 licensed counselors who provide aphasia groups and programs as well as support groups for people with aphasia and their care partners.  She has worked in the area of neurologic communication disorders for 40 years in acute care, long term rehab and outpatient settings as well as in rehab management.

In this episode, listeners will hear and learn about:

  • The logistics of developing and training a multi-site, group program (13 different sites)
  • Learn how a graduate student planted an LPAA seed that grew into MnCAN
  • Consider the idea of creating a manual for training and implementing LPAA group sessions
  • Learn about the ripple effect that fosters growth, access to unique skillsets (accountants, marketing, musicians, etc.), and expansion of programming
  • Learn about functional outcomes from aphasia group programming for individuals with aphasia, their partners, staff, and students
  • Learn about the value of growing organically – not too fast, just right size, and timing of growth
  • Insights into finding donated physical spaces to host group meetings
  • Expansion from conversation groups to “ala carte” specialty groups
  • Find out what a “merry little band of rebels” means


Download the Full Show Notes