Inaugural Communication Awareness Day Event Held in Meridian
The inaugural Communication Awareness Day was held at the ISU Meridian Health Science Center on April 14. The purpose of the event was to increase awareness of neurological impairments in adults and teach others about the different types of disorders, the value of personal identity and the importance of social connection after a brain injury.
Since the specific communication disorders that result from a brain injury may not commonly known to the general public, the students, faculty and clients collaborated to educate others about Apraxia, Aphasia and Traumatic Brain Injury. In preparation for the event, students collaborated with clients to make posters about Apraxia, Aphasia and Traumatic Brain Injury as well as information cards and bookmarks that educate people about communication needs of individuals with these disorders. Clients shared a piece of their personal identity, such as, art work, collages, photography, a piece of adaptive sporting equipment, quilts or pottery. One client showed his identity as a veteran in the Air Force by wearing his military uniform. Since clients shared a piece of their personal identity, meaningful discussions were shared with the students, faculty and members of the community. Through this interactive process, the students reported that this experience altered their understanding of their clients. For example, one student shared that she observed her client performing at a higher level of functioning to meet the demands of speaking to a new communication partner. Graduate students also enhanced their leadership and advocacy skills by creating the event and inviting other students, faculty, and members of the Community Aphasia, Apraxia, Dysarthria Support Group. Overall, Communication Awareness Day provided a venue for ISU graduate students and members of our community to gather together in fellowship and educate others about the importance of seeing and understanding the person first.