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Aphasia Treatment Program

ATP group and clinician


The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and the Norma S. and Ray R. Rees Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic offers an innovative and cutting-edge group treatment program for persons with aphasia. The Aphasia Treatment Progam (ATP) was established by CSD Professor Emerita, Dr. Jan Avent in 1996. The program is proudly founded on the principles of the Life Participation Approach for Aphasia, championed worldwide by leading aphasiologists (see Life Participation Approach to Aphasia). This approach places the life concerns of persons with aphasia at the heart of clinical decision-making. Further, this approach prioritizes the meaningful participation of persons with aphasia in society. ATP provides a rich social environment for persons with aphasia to interact with peers who have aphasia, graduate student clinicians, trained volunteers, and program faculty who are all nationally certified and state-licensed speech-language pathologists.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) UPDATE 

Due to continuing recommendations on how best to prevent any spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), and in the interest of protecting the health of our speech-language pathology program’s community of clients, caregivers, students, faculty and staff, the Rees Clinic will be providing speech therapy services via TELEPRACTICE for the Fall semester.  The description of activities for ATP is based on services provided on the Cal State East Bay campus, and will be updated as details for the Fall are finalized.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 


ATP is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during each of our Fall and Spring academic semesters. ATP is broadly divided into two groups. There are eight spots available for PwA who participate in Cooperative Therapy (See here for more information on Cooperative Therapy) in one-hour sessions staggered between 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm to learn self-cueing strategies and to work on specific language skills. (Please note that Cooperative Therapy is currently not available. All ATP members engage in self-directed practice, exercise group, or individual therapy during this time.)  All other clients participate in Transitional-ATP in which the focus is on developing self-practice skills from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Both groups work together the remainder of the day. Check out our schedule of daily activities.

Each participant receives 9 hours of treatment per week. ATP participants routinely spend over 5 hours daily on campus. Therefore participants must be ambulatory or be able to move independently using a wheelchair, scooter, or cane, and be independent in self-care skills like toileting and eating a packed lunch.

The Aphasia Group, meeting on Wednesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm, is open to clients participating in individual therapy and community members with aphasia. A choice of two activities is offered during this time and a client may select to participate in our aphasia choir - The Aphasia Tones, or in a current events discussion - The News Group. Enrollment in these activities is approved by the ATP Director. The structured, aphasia-friendly book reading and discussion group Book Club meets on Mondays from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

New clients may have the option of applying for additional individual 50-minute treatment sessions, which are held twice weekly.

Interested participants must first complete a diagnostic evaluation through the Norma S. and Ray R. Rees Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic. A decision about entry into ATP is made collaboratively with the participant, family, and clinical staff, and is also dependent on available space. For participation in ATP, the primary communication disorder must be aphasia.

ATP typically runs during Fall and Spring semesters at Cal State East Bay, and does observe university holidays and breaks.  

  • Fall 2019 sessions will start September 9th and end November 20th
    • University Closures:
      • Closed Veteran's Day, Monday, November 11
  • Spring 2020 session will start February 10th and end April 29th
    • University Closures:
      • Closed "Spring Break", March 30-April 3


The cost associated with various program components per quarter is:

  • ATP/Transitional ATP: $40 materials fee
  • Book Club Group: $15 materials fee

Therapy services are supported by donations from the community. We rely on and are grateful for your support.  Donations can be submitted online at our Clinic Donations webpage. Please select "Rees Clinic-Aphasia Treatment Program" in the drop-down Designation menu.

About Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication impairment that occurs most commonly after a stroke, but may also occur after a traumatic brain injury or brain tumor. It is estimated that approximately 2 million Americans and 400,000 United States troops returning from combat have aphasia. Individuals with aphasia typically have trouble with talking, understanding, reading and writing. However, aphasia does not affect a persons intelligence.

The ATP program is currently co-directed by Ellen Bernstein-Ellis, licensed speech-language pathologist and expert in group treatment for aphasia, and Shelley Simrin,  the Rees Clinic Director. 

Interested in being a part of ATP?

  • Submit a complete application for services.
  • Turn it in to us by email, mail, or in person.
  • Include supporting papers such as IEP’s or medical records.
    • The application is not considered complete if supporting papers exist but are not provided.
  • Wait for us to contact you.
    • It usually takes 3 weeks for us to schedule the evaluation. 

For further information or to initiate a referral, contact the clinic at (510) 885-3241 or

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