Speech and Language Therapy - The NUIG Aphasia Outreach Module

Contact: Ruth McMenamin, NUIG

In 2005/2006 a Service Learning module was designed for the undergraduate Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) curriculum and NUI Galway. SLT students are trained as conversation partners and matched with people with aphasia living in the local community. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder caused by brain damage. It is characterised by an impairment of language modalities speaking, listening, reading and writing (Chapey, 2001). One of the most disabling consequences of aphasia is the way that it excludes the person from conversation (Rayner and Marshall 2003). Students’ weekly conversational visits link community service with academic study and result in a new understanding of Aphasia. Preliminary evaluation over the past two years suggests that the Aphasia Outreach Module has positively impacted students and community partners. Students have reported that the skills developed during their Service Learning module will benefit their clinical skills across client groups and settings. Community partners are very positive about the university-community collaboration and the opportunity to engage with students. Service Learning as a pedagogical approach is also supported by academic staff. The aphasia outreach module has now been embedded as a core component in the SLT curriculum at NUI, Galway. 


Discipline: Health Studies
Institution: National University of Ireland, Galway
Activity: Service Learning/Community Based Learning

Additional Information

Academic Discipline: Speech and Language Therapy
Module Title: Speech and Language Therapy - The Aphasia Outreach Programme
Typical number of students: 25
Year(s) of Programme: 4th Year Student
Credits (ECTs): Pass/Fail
Mandatory: Yes
Assessment method:  
First established: 2005/2006
Typical number of hours: 8 hours tutorial support; 10 hours in the community
Learning outcomes:  
Case study website/link:  
Community Partners: Speech and Language Therapy Department, Galway, HSE, People living with aphasia after acquired brain injury in the Galway Region


Case Study Category: