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Episode 118: Learn about Aphasia

Wednesday – June 7, 2023


Carol Dow-Richards
Carol Dow Richards
Founding Director of Aphasia Recovery Connection


Aphasia is a communication disability that affects our ability to understand written and spoken language. Aphasia can happen suddenly, often following a stroke or head injury or it may also develop slowly, as the result of a brain tumor or a progressive neurological disease. Aphasia does not affect a person’s ability to think or reason. Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders, such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage. (Source:

About 1 million people in the United States live with aphasia, and nearly 180,000 Americans acquire aphasia each year. Aphasia is more common than Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. (Source:

On this episode of ADA Live! we discuss how aphasia impacts the lives of a family who learned how to recover and cope with its effects. Our guest is Carol Dow Richards, Founding Director of Aphasia Recovery Connection, a nonprofit organization located in Leland, North Carolina. Carol’s son David acquired aphasia after a sudden stroke in 1995 at age ten. Carol discusses how she and David continue to manage the effects of aphasia, why they started their organization, and how they are helping others move forward in their recovery. We also talk about how the rights of people with aphasia and similar communication disorders are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Audio: Soundcloud Episode 118: Learn about Aphasia