The Conversation Groups for individuals living with aphasia and congnitive-communication disorders in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology held their annual Open Evening late in 2013.
A highlightof the programme was the live collaboration with the Aphasia Treatment Program of California State University, East Bay (CSUEB), in a global concertvia Skype.
The Conversation Groups comprise individuals with communication disorders following a stroke (aphasia), and a traumatic brain injury (cognitive-communication disorders).
The Open Evening is a public event to share information about the projects. Members of the Conversation Group worked in collaboration with their final year student facilitators, under the supervision of Dr. Glenn Goldblum. The Conversation Groups were started by Dr. Goldblum in 1995.
An exciting project in 2013 was the launch of the iPad Conversation Group, the first of its kind in a university conversation group setting in South Africa. Ten iPads were donated by Pick 'n Pay Northern Region and student facilitators have adapted their training methods and materials to optimise the participation and learning by the Conversation Group members. All the members, irrespective of the severity of their communication disorder, have enjoyed participating in this group. They used the iPad to take photos and used an app called Pictello to write their own story, titled: 'The magic of our Conversation Group'.
The live collaboration with the Aphaisa Treatment Program of California State University, East Bay was a global concert via Skype. The concert combined the talents of the local choir with individuals with aphasia., the Siyathemba Singers, directed by Mrs. Tanya Brown, a music therapist, with those of CSUEB's Aphasia Tones. Each group performed an original and informing song about aphasia., and the two groups jointly performed the song 'Lean on Me'.