12 Days of Tap 2019: Day 5
When We Connect, We Learn
– Katherine Mansfield –
At the beginning of 2019, prior to my first experience at TAP, I had never spoken to anyone with aphasia. In my speech-language pathology undergraduate courses, I had researched some of the different types of aphasia, but I had never had any personal experiences with individuals who have this communication disorder.
During my first experience as a volunteer and student observer at TAP, I had the pleasure of observing the TAP Challenge Group with James, Tom, Don, Austin, and many more of my future TAP friends. Christine, the group leader, helped me better understand what aphasia really means and does not mean for these individuals as she educated the clients, their families, and observers of the group about how to use communication supports and led conversations to help improve the clients’ communication skills.
Throughout my 11 months as a volunteer at TAP, I have come to understand that aphasia and communication disorders are more than meets the eye. Each of these disorders require individuals to connect and engage with one another in order to treat them. When we connect, we learn, and this connection piece is at TAP’s core. TAP believes in connecting individuals, their families, and the community with each other and the appropriate education and skills to help individuals with aphasia regain their communication skills. I can personally speak to TAP’s outstanding initiative and commitment to change the narrative of what aphasia is and is not, and to create a positive, long-lasting impact on the lives of everyone it affects.
From the TAP Home Office:
One of the greatest things about being in this area of the Triangle is the connection we have with the Universities! We are blessed to share our program with students from all areas of health and human services, from speech pathology to rehabilitation counseling to marketing/communication studies. The young men and women who volunteer often are learning about aphasia for the very first time, and watching their transformation is incredible.
Katherine joined TAP as a volunteer, and was instantly loved by the clients, their families and the group leaders. She demonstrates a caring and open communication style, and is receptive to all of the strategies people with aphasia need. She has been invaluable on every project TAP has on its to do list, and has even helped us obtain new and exciting collaborations in the community. Thank you Katherine, for sharing your time, talent and passion with us.