DALLAS, Texas (June 7, 2004) — The University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth will sponsor an Aphasia Awareness Picnic Friday, June 18, at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, located at 1966 Inwood Road, near downtown.
Aphasia is an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually acquired as a result of a stroke or other brain injury. It can affect reading and writing as well as speaking and impact people’s most basic ability to communicate their needs, wants and ideas. African Americans may be particularly prone to aphasia because of their higher incidence of diabetes and hypertension, which can result in stroke. There are approximately 80,000 new aphasia cases each year in the United States.
The picnic, which is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and is free for people with aphasia and their caregivers, will highlight more than 20 services and programs that are available in the Metroplex for individuals who have had strokes that affected their ability to communicate. Lunch will be provided courtesy of On the Border restaurant. Those wishing to attend should contact Molly Keebler in advance at (214) 905-3007.
Two programs that focus on the development and provision of services for African Americans with aphasia will be highlighted at the picnic.
The first is a paid interview/survey, funded by the National Institutes of Health, of individuals with aphasia conducted through UTD’s Callier Center for Communication Disorders. The study needs qualified individuals to participate in a short interview designed to improve rehabilitation services for individuals with aphasia in the African American community. Interviews will be conducted in quiet, familiar settings of the participant’s choice. For more information on the study, please contact Beverly Moshay or Gloria Olness at (214) 905-3102.
The second is the South Dallas Communication Groups program, a free aphasia treatment program funded by The Harold Simmons Foundation and The Dallas Foundation. The group meets on a weekly basis at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, Jubilee United Methodist Church and St. Paul AME Church. For more information, please contact Keebler.
Researchers at UTD have long been focused on aphasia. Dr. Hanna Ulatowska began studies about the condition more than three decades ago and initiated a focus on African Americans with aphasia more than eight years ago.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor ®, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s Web site at www.utdallas.edu.