In 1999 we decided to move from Yorkshire to Gloucestershire in search of healing therapies for Jenny: she had suffered multiple yatrogenic strokes, which left her globally aphasic, semi-paralysed and with reduced vision. We also wanted to be closer to our families.
As there was no aphasia support in the county, we decided to make contact with like-minded people; in January 2001 we started a self-help group for aphasic adults: Gloucestershire Speakability.
Aphasia. From the beginning we both wanted to learn more about this invisible disability.
We attended network meetings, workshops and conferences. We visited dysphasia support groups in other counties.
We kept hearing about 250,00 aphasic people, but never met more than a handful.
Friends: we talked to some of our newly found aphasic friends: they told us of the barriers facing them in everyday life: little or no speech and language therapy, health care professionals poor communication skills, lack of support in the community, lack of aphasia awareness, few opportunities.
But, we also talked about hope and aspirations.
We spoke of our vision and it seemed it was what everyone wanted: re-learn skills, such as numeracy, literacy, cooking, have the courage to answer the phone, maybe drive again, and learn new skills: painting, counselling, IT, photography and more .
Find employment, go on holidays, and all those other things people normally do.
We all wanted to be accepted by society, get off benefits, and contribute to the communities we lived in best we could.
But, how go about all this when society Dis-ables you?
Well, this is when we decided we should try to help En-able aphasic people and that's how and why Aphasia Now was born in January 2005.
Our vision & our plan: create an aphasia-friendly website as a forum for aphasic adults; encourage each other to share experiences and pass on our aphasia expertise.
The Dream: find a retreat were aphasic people can meet, exchange ideas, support each other, have fun, explore the arts, try alternative therapies, mix with people of all cultures, and make friends!
Our call: if you are aphasic, or know of someone aphasic, then you can help by passing on your experiences and share information. In this way You Help Others and we can all learn to live with Aphasia.
We both hope Aphasia Now can help you on your road to recovery and inspire you and your family and your friends!
Muchos saludos and best wishes
Jenny & Wille Dautlich
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