Words are more like cats than dogs for a person with aphasia.
“While dogs are more likely to come when you call them, cats can be more stubborn and hide from you,” said Karen Copeland, speech-language pathologist and lecturer at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, quoting an essay from Dr. Bayard Baylis, a retired higher education administrator with a mild case of aphasia. “Acquired communication disorders like aphasia cause words to be like cats and not come when you need them.”
That’s why Cats and Dogs will be the theme of Heels for Words 2014, a fundraiser for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders on Saturday, April 19 at OSU-Tulsa. Proceeds raised by the walk will support the university’s Cowboy Aphasia Camp, which provides training and guidance for people with the communication disorder.
Baylis’ provides an easy way to describe the disorder and translated well as the theme for the annual fundraiser.
“Heels for Words builds awareness about the difficulties of living with aphasia by challenging participants to walk 1.5 miles in high heels,” said Copeland. “The walk helps people imagine what life with aphasia would be like if saying your own name is more difficult than walking in heels.”
Pre-registration for Heels for Words is $15 and may be completed at www.eventbrite.com/e/heels-for-words-2014-tickets-5623686598. Event shirts are available and must be ordered by Saturday, April 5.
Participants are encouraged, but not required, to walk in high heels on a 1.5-mile trail or a half-mile trail on the OSU-Tulsa campus. Walkers who complete the 1.5 mile trail in high heels will be eligible for a prize. Onsite registration begins at 8 a.m., with both walks starting at 9 a.m.
Cowboy Aphasia Camp, hosted by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, introduces new tools and ideas to help people who have a form of aphasia develop language skills. Aphasia is usually acquired as the result of a stroke or other brain injury. Camp participants are paired with OSU-Tulsa graduate clinicians studying communication disorder treatments. To learn more about aphasia, visit www.aphasia.org.