DCMS blog

Speak With IT and Aphasia – a problem with words

Hattie Foreman


Hattie Foreman

Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator, Speak With IT

Speak with IT

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a word that 85% of our population are unfamiliar with, which is remarkable considering the disorder affects over 350,000 people in the UK.

Following a stroke or brain injury, aphasia impacts the survivor’s ability to utilise and understand language, meaning every word can become as foreign as “aphasia” is to many of us.

Aphasia can compromise a person’s ability to read, write, talk or understand spoken information, sometimes in combination but often all aspects are affected.

How Speak with IT helps?

Speak With IT (SWIT) help people with aphasia in Yorkshire by pairing them with trained volunteers in the local community.

Our volunteers visit clients at home to deliver speech therapy sessions using a range of computer software. Volunteers and clients build a learning partnership, practicing functional language and supported conversation, to help bring the client out of isolation and equip them with the skills and confidence to re-engage with their family, friends and community.

What the volunteers do?

Once paired, volunteers work one to one with the same client, visiting each month to track progress, set new exercises; offering consistent support where the only end-date is at the client’s request and when they feel ready.

Emily, a volunteer, says: “For me, the best thing about volunteering for SWIT has been the flexibility of the role and the lovely relationships I’ve developed with the clients who I support.”

Volunteers are the backbone of SWIT’s support and without them, such affordable support couldn’t be made available.

That is why SWIT are recruiting new volunteers with patience and good communication skills to help carry out our work. Being an IT expert isn’t required and extensive training is provided by SWIT and a trained Speech and Language Therapist.

How can you get involved?

Supporting a client one-to-one can take as little as two and a half hours a month, worked flexibly to your schedule.

Interested? Email Hattie at hforeman@speakwithit.org for further info or call 01924 888 608.

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