The Department of Communications Sciences and Disorder will host the second Cowboy Aphasia Camp at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa on July 15-19.
Aphasia is an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually acquired as the result of a stroke or other brain injury. Aphasia affects more than 1 million Americans and is more common than Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, according to the National Aphasia Association. More than 100,000 Americans acquire the disorder each year.
“Although there’s no cure for aphasia, people do improve and learn how to live successfully with the impairment,” said Karen Copeland, speech-language pathologist and lecturer at OSU-Tulsa. “Our goal is to introduce new tools and ideas to develop language skills that the participants can use at home to continue their progress.”
During the camp, eight participants who have a form of aphasia will be paired with OSU-Tulsa graduate clinicians studying communication disorder treatments. Each team will work one-on-one using flash cards, computer software, iPad apps and word games devoted to developing a specific communication skill. The program includes other activities that stimulate the mind and body, including yoga and workout sessions, painting and art classes, and working with therapeutic animals.
“The camp benefits those affected by aphasia and our students who are able to put into practice the skills they have been developing in the classroom,” said Copeland. “The overall goal is to stimulate the language abilities of our campers and offer them ideas and techniques they can continue to work at home.”
To raise awareness about the challenges of living with aphasia, OSU-Tulsa students, faculty and staff and interested community members are invited to a special showing of “Aphasia: The Movie” on Thursday, July 18 at 9 a.m. in North Hall 118. The award-winning film is based on the life of Carl McIntyre, a film, television and stage actor who acquired aphasia at age 44 after suffering a stroke.
For more information about Cowboy Aphasia Camp, contact Copeland at 918-744-3524. To learn more about aphasia, visit the National Aphasia Association website at www.aphasia.org.