“Communication Journey: Aphasia” is a vocabulary file containing features and vocabulary designed to support people with aphasia.  It was developed by Lois Turner (SLP), Anne MacCallum (SLP) and Sarah Gauthier (SLP Assistant) in consultation with a group of speech-language pathologists who work exclusively with people with aphasia and brain injuries.  All the participants work at CAYA (Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults) and the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The framework of the file was derived from the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia from the Aphasia Institute in Toronto, Canada.  The pages were created to facilitate participation in daily activities and to promote social links.

Aphasia, a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain where language is stored, may affect the ability to comprehend language, to express oneself, to read, or to spell and write.  “Communication Journey: Aphasia” can easily be adapted for use by people with different types of aphasia and a range of cognitive levels and degrees of severity. 

Symbols, photographs, visual scenes, videos or words can be used on the message, topic and script pages.   Included are pages that facilitate supported communication techniques, self-advocacy, directing care, and repair of communication breakdowns.  Information typically included in communication books; including pain and emotion scales, maps, templates for personal information and life stories, and schedules are also incorporated into the vocabulary file. Specialized features include variable “rate of speech” and “pause between words”.Grid size and vocabulary are easily customized to reflect and support the life experiences of the person with aphasia.

Although this vocabulary file contains starting-point vocabulary commonly required by adults with aphasia, it MUST be customized.  Each person has a unique history and the file must reflect their lives, experiences and abilities.  

Download the “Communication Journey: Aphasia File" User Guide. 

Download the Saltillo Client Information Form

Download the CAYA Resource Document