Skip to content

Episode 118: Learn about Aphasia

Wednesday – June 7, 2023


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).


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


Audio: Soundcloud Episode 118: Learn about Aphasia




Aphasia Recovery Connection (ARC)
ARC is a non-profit organization that was founded by a stroke survivor and his mother after they faced the same challenges that many of you face everyday. ARC’s mission is to end the isolation of aphasia by connecting families who are on the journey they know so well. Throughout the years, ARC has grown to become a community of thousands of families who connect online and at aphasia events. We are continually inspired by the stories of aphasia warriors, and we encourage you to join our community and share your story.

About ADA Live!

The ADA Live! podcast and resources focus on the rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A new episode airs for 30-45 minutes on the first Wednesday of each month. ADA Live! is produced by the Southeast ADA Center, one of ten regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network.

No registration is required. You can submit your questions to ADA Live!, explore resources and the ADA Live! schedule plus connect to archived episodes on or download podcasts from


Disability Rights Today

The podcast series, Disability Rights Today, is your source for in-depth discussion of the facts, issues and arguments of important court cases that shape the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and that may impact the legal rights and the lives of people with disabilities.  You will hear from the plaintiffs, attorneys, and subject matter experts involved in the highlighted case. The host for “Disability Rights Today” is Dr. Peter Blanck, an American academic, psychologist, and lawyer who holds the titles of University Professor and Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. The podcast will appeal to disability rights advocates, attorneys, and others wanting to keep current on the latest legal developments involving the ADA. Tune-in at:

Let’s Get to Work: Reimagining Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy

The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, in collaboration with leading economic and social policy researchers at Rutgers and Harvard Universities, invite you to listen to the podcast series: Let’s Get to Work: Reimagining Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy.

Each episode features guests with unique knowledge and insights sharing their perspective on public policies that are moving the momentum forward and holding progress back. Guests from government and the business and disability communities share their perspectives on ways to translate the latest trends and thinking to advance workforce development and employment policy that produces sustainable economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Researchers from the three universities also share what they are learning about employment policies as part of the work of the NIDILRR grant-funded Center on Disability Inclusive Employment Policy. Tune-in at:

The ADA Live! and Disability Rights Today podcasts are a cross-collaboration with the NIDILRR-funded Southeast ADA Center (#90DPAD0005-01-00), the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University, and the NIDILRR grant-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) –  Disability Inclusive Employment Practices (#90RTEM0006-01-00).


About the Southeast ADA Center

The Southeast ADA Center is a leader in providing information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability access tailored to the needs of business, government, and individuals at local, state, and regional levels. It also conducts research to reduce and eliminate barriers to employment and economic self-sufficiency and to increase the civic and social participation of Americans with disabilities. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, we are a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University and one of 10 regional ADA centers in the ADA National Network, funded since 1991 by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Web:

About BBI

The Burton Blatt Institute (“BBI”) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. Through program development, research, and public policy guidance, BBI advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar. BBI has offices in Syracuse, NY; Washington, DC; New York City, NY; and Lexington, KY. Web:

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this post were developed by the Southeast ADA Center, a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and the ADA National Network, under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant #90DPAD0005-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this podcast and email do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.