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  • Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc. Vancouver BC.Canada
  • Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc. Vancouver BC.Canada
  • Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc. Vancouver BC.Canada
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Improving Communication Throughout Your Life.

Intensive Aphasia Treatment Program FAQ

Q:  Does your intensive aphasia program have a website?

A:  Yes!  Visit for more information about iTAWC - Intensive Treatment for Aphasia in Western Canada.

Q:  What is aphasia?

A:  Aphasia is a communication impairment resulting from damage to the language areas of the brain, such as may occur from a stroke or brain injury. It can result in mildly to profoundly reduced abilities in any or all of the language modalities of listening, speaking, reading or writing. Because communication is so central to every aspect of human life, aphasia can interfere with family roles, employment, hobbies and social life; often, aphasia leads to social isolation and depression.

Q:  What is the cost of the program?

A: We are currently reviewing dates and location for our 2015 program. Check back on our website or call our office for further registration details. For your information the fee for the 2014 program was $17,500 however this is under review as well. The price includes all assessment, treatment and supplies. It does not include accommodation, meals, parking and other miscellaneous items of a personal nature. There is no tax on the treatment fee.

Q:  Is there any funding available?

A:  At present, we are exploring funding sources. We recommend that you contact your local Health Authority's Acquired Brain Injury Services to see if they would assist you with the funding and to explore charitable organizations if you have limited means.  If you are an SLP referring a client, we recommend that you do not let financial considerations stop you from informing a client of this program; in our experience, clients can be very resourceful about fund-raising for their own treatment.

Q:  Where does the program take place?

A:  The program will take place in an accessible, modern facility on the beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia.

Q:  What are the dates?

A: We are currently reviewing dates and location for our 2015 program. Check back on our website or call our office for further registration details.  The program will run Monday to Friday for four consecutive weeks (including any statutory holidays) for six hours daily. Clients and families will need to be available prior to and after the program for assessment and debriefing.

Q:  Who is this program designed for?

A:  Our intensive aphasia treatment program is best suited to people who have “chronic” aphasia (that is, aphasia of more than one year duration).  However, we will certainly not turn someone away who is less than a year post stroke, if we otherwise feel they will benefit from our approach.  In order to be eligible, you must have been diagnosed with aphasia by an SLP, neurologist or physiatrist (a rehabilitation medicine doctor); you must be medically stable and have sufficient stamina and attention to take part in an intensive treatment program of this nature. Participants must be independent for toileting, eating and transfers, or bring someone with them who is capable of assisting with these needs.  The program is designed for native speakers of English (or those who had fluent command of English prior to developing aphasia) who also have sufficient vision and hearing to participate in a non-adapted program.  If you are unsure about whether the program is suitable to you, please contact or call us at 604-875-9100604-875-9100.

Q:  What kinds of treatment will be offered?

A:  The specific type of intensive aphasia therapy provided will be decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on your needs and goals. The program is comprehensive, in that multiple treatment approaches are available. In general, treatments will focus on speaking, auditory comprehension, reading and writing, conversational skills, functional communication and use of technology as appropriate. Constraint Induced Language Therapy will be a component of the treatment.

Q:  What sort of results should I expect?

A:  No guarantee of outcome is provided. However, you can rest assured that the treatment you will receive will be based both on extensive clinical experience and on current research, including the latest knowledge in the field regarding evidence-based practice.  The team developing our intensive aphasia therapy program includes veteran SLPs Wendy Duke and Alisa Ferdinandi, who together have more than 45 years of experience working with clients with aphasia and who have trained numerous student SLPs over the years.

Q:  Is the involvement of family members required?

A:  You need to bring a family member or communication partner with you but they do not need to be with you throughout the entire month-long duration of the intensive aphasia therapy program.  They need to be there for at least the first day (July 28th) and the last day (August 29th).  Additional family involvement is encouraged.  We recommend against having family members involved full-time, however, as we wish to foster independence for our clients.

Q:  When should I register?

A: The registration for our 2015 program is not yet open.  Check back on our website or call our office for further registration details.  At that point, we will be taking names and contact information for people who are interested.  Please note that our program has sold out early every year.  To register, request an application package from us at or by phone at 604-875-9100604-875-9100. Registration also requires payment of a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the fee at the time of registration along with a postdated cheque for the second non-refundable installment, along with various reports and questionnaires (which are outlined in the application package).

Questions Commonly Received from Referring Speech-Language Pathologists

Q:  Will you accept people with fluent aphasia?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Will you accept people with concurrent apraxia of speech?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Will you accept people who are very high functioning?

A:  Yes. In fact, if your client has a mild aphasia, you may be interested to know that the clinicians at iTAWC have had plenty of experience assisting people with stroke or traumatic brain injury in returning to work and/or school.

Q:  Is there a lower or upper age limit?

A:  No. An individual’s ability to participate is determined by their stamina, medical stability and willingness to work in an environment where many of their fellow participants will be middle-aged.  An older person with energy and stamina is more than welcome in our program. For younger people such as teens, we suggest only that they consider carefully if they would be comfortable in an environment in which they will likely be the youngest client present.

Other Questions? If you have any other questions, please email us at or phone us at 604-875-9100604-875-9100.

Click here to see an overview of our intensive aphasia treatment program.

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