365 Days of the NAA

What Did We Accomplish This Year?

The National Aphasia Association had an incredibly busy 2022. What have we been doing? Here are some highlights from our end-of-year reflection video.

Held our first Night of Aphasia Arts, featuring 218 pieces of art made by people with aphasia.
Gave quotes and context about aphasia in dozens of news stories — from the New York Times to the LA Times.
Conducted our four-year Aphasia Awareness Survey two years early.
Grew the affiliate database, which was accessed over 50,000 times, by over 12%.
Led another successful Aphasia Awareness Month in June.
Funded $20,000 in research grants through our new research portal.
Started a PPA email hotline to go with our twice-a-month PPA chats.
And much, much more…

We’re not slowing down, and we hope you’ll be right there beside us for the next twelve months.

Read the Script

What have we been doing at the NAA?

35 years ago, Martha Taylor Sarno founded the NAA to promote public awareness and understanding of aphasia. It was the first national organization dedicated to advocating for people with aphasia and their families.

So how did we spend our 35th anniversary year?

We held our first Night of Aphasia Arts, featuring 218 pieces of art made by people with aphasia, including 23 recorded performances, 174 pieces of visual art and photography, and 21 poems. Don’t worry — we recorded the evening and posted it on YouTube so you can sing along.

We gave quotes and context in dozens of news stories — from the New York Times to the LA Times — about Bruce Willis and John Fetterman, serving as the national voice for statements about primary progressive aphasia or communication issues caused by a stroke.

We conducted our four-year Aphasia Awareness Survey two years early due to all of the news stories surrounding Bruce Willis’s aphasia announcement. Just as we suspected, the number of respondents who have heard of aphasia and could identify it as a language disorder increased from 7% in 2020 to 40% in 2022.

We grew the affiliate database by over 12%, adding hundreds of new speech-language service providers around the US. Our two new affiliate coordinators have been busy supporting our affiliates and making sure that people with aphasia can connect to services in their area. The affiliate database was accessed over 50,000 times this year. Were you one of them?

We led another successful Aphasia Awareness Month in June. Gabby Giffords kicked off the month with a message to the aphasia community. We held a special Ask the Experts panel discussion with General Michael Hayden, Coleman Watson, Doreen Mendez, and Cris Gomes about life with aphasia. And we announced the recipients of the Barbara Martin Aphasia Research Grants.

The NAA funded $20,000 in research grants through our new research portal. It’s a space for researchers to talk about their latest findings and for people with aphasia to find open studies looking for participants. There are 20 research studies currently listed. Let’s change the future of aphasia together.

We started a PPA email hotline to go with our twice-a-month PPA chats, led by the NAA PPA task force. Plus, we expanded our conversation group offerings. Take a look at our event calendar. There is something happening online almost every weekday, and our conversation groups are open to everyone.

Of course, we also responded to thousands of emails, answered your aphasia questions, and wrote hundreds of articles and social media posts and newsletters, bringing you current aphasia news. You could say that our website is the heart of our work, serving as a meeting space for the aphasia community. Over 720,000 people accessed our pages almost 1.5 million times this year, making it our most important asset.

What will the NAA accomplish next year? As the hub for the aphasia community, we’re investing in improving our website. It’s how we connect, how we advocate, and how we inform. Night of Aphasia Arts will move to its permanent annual home this spring, and we’re expanding our programming offerings — from conversation groups to Ask the Expert webinars to… well… let’s just say there will be a few surprises along the way. Rest assured that 2023 is going to be an amazing year at the NAA, and we’re so glad that you’re a part of it.

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