[Aphasia Center] Gina Antonelli and Denise McCall, CCC-SLP

The Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement (SCALE) in Baltimore, Maryland is a community treatment center for people with aphasia and their families. SCALE provides a place for people with aphasia to connect and empowers them to participate in small groups at the center and more fully in the wider community. We are committed to providing barrier free access to all SCALE services, including an array of technology designed to support and enhance communication.

When first introduced to SentenceShaper, members find the program helpful for practicing their verbal speech, including both initiation and repetition with the assistance of a communication partner. As members experience the program’s effect on their sentence production, they begin to develop goals to use the program dynamically. For instance, members have used the program to prepare speeches for presentation in classes (complete with pictures), and to prepare voice email messages to be shared with family and friends. One of our newest members is preparing for a Skype session with a loved-one where he will pre-record questions and stories using the program to share live (by playing his recordings) as they meet via Skype. He will speak spontaneously and utilize the program to support and direct the conversation.

The members who use SentenceShaper look forward to using the program and continuing their work on personal stories and messages. Their confidence skyrockets when they hear fluent utterances recorded in their own voice. In addition, their usage of the interface becomes progressively more independent and they begin to develop their own personal goals for program use.

It is so rewarding to sit down with a member and see the look on their face when they hear themselves speaking more fluently.