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People with Aphasia: Social Distancing Professionals Long Before the Virus was in Vogue
Dear AHA/ASA Friends,
Here is the video https://youtu.be/b0m6b5xI2Fw and associated PDF for “People with Aphasia: Social Distancing Professionals Long Before the Virus was in Vogue, 7/28/2020” and a short summary of the article.
People with aphasia (PWA) become “social distancing” by accident but it is more like “social-ending distancing” than anything else. It takes a lot more than just six feet apart for people with aphasia who can’t communicate at any distance. It is a different kind of isolation than the typical COVID “social distancing” kind.
That is the crux of the matter. PWA need to practice communicating in the face of stumbling, halting, disconcerting, and embarrassing utterances that many listeners might run from.
PWA have to practice reading, writing and speaking daily while still practicing social distancing. Although people in the COVID world have become somewhat isolated, it is completely different than the social isolation that comes as a result of aphasia.
PWA have lost their ability to read, write and speak well by accident while people in the COVID Age have to volunteer to remain apart in order to stop the virus.
Ironically, in the new world of “social distancing” (and loss of social interaction) a person with aphasia has to communicate and interact more, not less.
If there is a silver lining to the virus for people with aphasia, Zoom is it. The World is Flat by Tom Friedman talked about the forces that “flattened the world” with communication technology. Zoom has made the world even “flatter” and has leveled the communication field for people with aphasia who have become the professionals of social distancing in the COVID Age.
Take care and stay healthy! Tom B