June is Aphasia Awareness Month.
More than 350,000 people in the UK have aphasia. Aphasia is a communication disability caused by damage to language centres of the brain that affects a person's ability to understand speech, to speak, read and write, and to use numbers. Around a third of people who have a stroke will experience aphasia, but still too little is known about it.
On Tuesday 1 June, members of the Stroke Association's Aphasia Team were delighted to help kick off the month's activities by leading the Aphasia Forum online meeting, where people with aphasia have been sharing their experiences and ideas on how best to raise further awareness of aphasia and how to promote the new UK Communication Access Symbol within their local communities.
The UK Communication Access Symbol helps people with communication difficulties identify businesses whose staff members are trained in communication support.
Organisations that complete the free training are added to a national directory of communication-friendly companies, and can display the Access Symbol on their premises. You can find out more about the new symbol and training on the Communication Access website.
Throughout the month and beyond, members linked to all the organisations which make up the Aphasia Alliance (including the Stroke Association) will be sharing key messages about aphasia and encouraging business owners to sign up for free training and accreditation to the UK Communication Access Symbol.
The new UK Communication Access Symbol has huge potential to positively transform interactions between people with post-stroke aphasia and other communication difficulties and customer-facing staff in shops, banks, public transport, restaurants, GP surgeries, hospitals and other public spaces.
Please do play your part in helping to spread the word.
You can learn more about aphasia on our website.