UCF’s Communication Disorders Clinic and Aphasia House

By A. Marie

The University of Central Florida held an open house this past Friday to show therapists, alumni, and the public their new Communication Disorders Clinic, as well as their new Aphasia House. I received the invite sent to UCF alumni and I was curious as to what the facility would be like and how it could potentially help J. The open house was from 1–3 pm, which didn’t allow me much time before having to pick him up from school but I definitely wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to see the place in person. The two centers are located off campus on Research Parkway, about a half mile down from UCF’s main entrance. The Communication Disorders Clinic offers therapy services for patients of all ages, and the facility also provides auditory screenings. Inside you will also find the FAAST Atlantic Region Assistive Technology Demonstration Center. The clinic served over 1700 patients from 2014–2015 and screened over 650 preschool children. The walls are full of visuals showing therapists working with patients of all ages and varying disabilities; a touching choice as opposed to traditional artwork. I was met with numerous smiling faces while I made my way through the clinic, and the tour led me all throughout the facility from therapy rooms to the graduate student workroom. According to their website, “The clinic is equipped with instrumentation for voice and resonance evaluations as well as for swallowing evaluations. A full audiological suite with instrumentation for diagnostic audiometry for children and adults and hearing aid evaluations is available.” The center is state of the art complete with assistive communicative devices as well as a family observation room, where family members can view and listen in on their loved one’s therapy session via computer. Graduate students are able to gain hands on experience under the watchful eye of faculty before embarking in the field on their own.

In addition to services aimed towards improving speech, a Listening Center is also inside the facility, and the Aphasia House is only a few steps away. The Listening Center is a vibrant colorful room where services are provided to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Bright colors were chosen to encourage language in children. The Aphasia House offers treatment to patients suffering from Aphasia, a condition where a person loses the ability to communicate due to suffering a stroke, brain tumor, or traumatic brain injury. Aphasia causes a loss in the ability to understand language, which includes reading, writing, listening and speaking. As you enter the house you feel as if you are walking into someone’s living room complete with comfy couches. The feeling is less facility and more cozy, and has been decorated to make patients feel like they are at home. Patients receive therapy services in rooms with different themes such as bowling, sports, and music. I was really impressed with the two centers, the staff and their range of services.

Services offered include the following:

Accent Reduction

Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders

Articulation and Phonological Disorders

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Fluency Disorders

Hearing Disorders

Language Disabilities

Language-Based Reading and Writing Disabilities

Swallowing Disorders

Traumatic Brain Injury

Voice and Resonance Disorders

If you would like more information on the UCF Communicative Disorders Clinic or the Aphasia House, call 407–882–0468 or visit their website, https://www.cohpa.ucf.edu/clinic/about/