Aphasia Guide for Stroke Survivors

A picture of the Getting online for people with aphasia guide
The Stroke Association has launched an online guide for stroke survivors to help those who experience problems with communication notably aphasia. 

Launched during aphasia awareness month, the guide aims to support the estimated 350,000 people who have aphasia in the UK, and are more likely to feel lonely and isolated during the pandemic.  

Getting Online for People with Aphasia 

The ‘Getting Online for People with Aphasia’ guide, has information to enable people with aphasia with the digital skills they need to connect with friends and family, and the stroke survivor community

The Stroke Association designed the guide following a UK-wide consultation with stroke survivors. It uses aphasia-friendly text supported by pictures and key words, can be used with a text reader and covers the use of many devices including computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.  

AbilityNet’s FREE tool My Computer My Way helps you adapt devices 

Juliet Bouverie, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association said: “You don’t have to feel imprisoned by aphasia. This guide provides a vital lifeline and gives you the skills and confidence to get online. It’s particularly helpful for keeping in touch with loved ones, [and] guiding you through things like video calling.”

First-hand experiences

A picture of Pamela Bateman Lee. She wears a cap and a scarf with poppies on it

Technology has helped Pamela Bateman-Lee, 51, with her recovery after she had a stroke which left her unable to talk and affected her hearing. 

The stroke left Pamela, and actress, with difficulty speaking, reading and writing. “‘People do not know about aphasia; they don’t understand that I have had a stroke as I don’t look different. People think I am stupid, maybe my brain is small,” she said. 

A stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, which is a speech and language disorder. and can affect the ability to speak, read, write - and sometimes understand speech, and use numbers. Pamela received 6 weeks of speech and language therapy and uses a speech assistant app on her phone to jot down words and short sentences when she is unable to say them aloud. She had to relearn how to use technology after her stroke.

During the lockdown, she has been relying on technology more to connect with others and has even joined a few aphasia groups in America using Zoom. 

Since her stroke, Pamela has rediscovered her passion for performing. “I have had speaking parts and non-speaking parts. I have specific strengths in improvisation and physical theatre,” she said. 

AbilityNet: Helping Stroke Survivors

AbilityNet works closely with the Stroke Association at a national and a local level.  Find out how one of our volunteers was helping a local group based in Milford-on-Sea, including those experiencing communication problems.  Our 300+ volunteers are experienced in helping older and disabled people use their computers. 

For help from an AbilityNet volunteer, call our Helpline on 0800 048 7642

In March we hosted a joint webinar on technology for Stroke Survivors.

The Stroke Association is hosting an ‘Aphasia Chat’ on Tuesday 23 June at 11:00. 

Go to @TheStrokeAssoc to be part of the conversation. You’ll be able to connect with other stroke survivors with aphasia, ask questions and share recovery tips. 

Related resources for Stroke Survivors

• The ‘Getting Online for People with Aphasia’ guide is available at www.stroke.org.uk/aphasiaonline

• Call the Stroke Association’s dedicated Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100

• Find out about the Stroke Associations helpline to tackle loneliness

Stroke information from AbilityNet

• 6 tips for using your computer after a stroke 

• Read our factsheet on stroke and computing

• Read how virtual reality can help stroke survivors with communication problems