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   Support groups > Various > Speakability
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Speakability

More than a quarter of a million people in the UK have problems with speaking, reading, writing or understanding language.

This communication disability is caused by damage to the language centres of the brain. It can come as the result of a stroke, head injury, brain tumour or other neurological illness. It should be noted that intellect is rarely affected.

The medical term for this is Aphasia (or Dysphasia).

Speakability is the national charity dedicated to supporting and empowering people with Aphasia and their carers.

The charity was founded by Diana Law (who experienced Aphasia) in 1979 as ‘Action for Dysphasic Adults' and adopted the working name of ‘Speakability' in 2000.

Speakability offers impartial information and support through its Helpline, Website and training courses, and distributes its own Fact Sheets, low-cost publications and DVDs.

Throughout England, Scotland and Wales, Speakability is also developing a network of Aphasia Self-Help Groups - run by people with Aphasia for people with Aphasia. Each Self-Help Group offers individuals real empowerment, the chance to share experiences, grow in self-confidence, rebuild communication skills and make new friends in a supportive environment.

As the UK ‘voice' of people with Aphasia, Speakability has a high profile campaigning role and works to improve services for people with Aphasia by influencing individuals, organisations and statutory bodies.

* supporting people with Aphasia and their carers through its Information Service, national network of Self-Help Groups and programme of activities
* influencing individuals, organisations and statutory bodies in order to improve services for people living with Aphasia
* raising funds to support these aims

Speakability produces a wide range of publications and communication tools, as well as training resources for health professionals.

A person with Aphasia often finds that his/her ability to understand, speak, read or write is affected, yet their intellect remains intact.

A person with Aphasia will have problems in answering the telephone, watching television or listening to the radio. This often results in frustration, social isolation and a breakdown in close relationships. Many will lose their job and suffer financial hardship as a result.

Aphasia is caused by damage to the language centres of the brain.

Aphasia occurs, most commonly, after a stroke, brain injury (e.g. resulting from a blow to the head) or other neurological condition (e.g. brain tumour, brain infection or a degenerative neurological condition).

An estimated 250,000 people in the UK have Aphasia. 20,000 people each year, in the UK, will develop Aphasia. Many of them are under retirement age.
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