Communication Disorders group hosts annual stroke and aphasia awareness event

UMass Stroke Support Group

Graduate students at last year's stroke and aphasia awareness event

February 24, 2017

Communication disorders graduate students will host their annual event to raise community awareness for stroke and aphasia on March 25, 2017. The event is part of the student‐run UMass Stroke Support Group’s (SSG) mission to bridge the gap between its members and the local community.

Aphasia is an impairment of language affecting the production and/or comprehension of spoken and written language, usually as a result of a left hemisphere stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke affects nearly 800,000 Americans each year, resulting in 130,000 deaths and leaving the majority of survivors with serious and chronic disability. Roughly one million people currently live in the U.S. with chronic, persistent post-stroke language impairments and resulting psychosocial consequences that can significantly restrict their ability to participate in routine activities associated with a meaningful life.

This year, the SSG will celebrate the inspirational lives of its members through Shine a Light, a dance and music showcase. The showcase will feature the UMass Dance Company and original pieces performed by graduate students in the Communication Disorders department. Most importantly, members of the community who have had strokes will share their inspirational stories through video diaries and performances.

The event will be held in the Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union Building on the UMass Amherst campus beginning at 11:00 am. Admission is free; however tax‐deductible donations will be welcomed. After paying for event expenses, money raised will go towards the organization’s mission of educating and providing support for stroke survivors and their families while promoting awareness in the community about stroke and aphasia.

For more information on the SSG and/or the Shine a Light event, please contact faculty advisor Jacquie Kurland at 413-545‐4007 or graduate student event coordinator Amanda Bernhard at

View a video from last year's event below!