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  1. Section Editor(s): Wallace, Sarah E. PhD
  2. Associate Editor
  3. Nelson, Nickola Wolf PhD
  4. Editor-in-Chief

Article Content

Without opportunities to communicate, improved language is a trivial accomplishment. - Nina Simmons-Mackie (2008, p. 304)


We selected these words to introduce this issue because, with them, Dr. Nina Simmons-Mackie (2008), speech-language pathologist and ethnographic researcher, conveyed its essential message. Simmons-Mackie's words are quoted in the Foreword for Volume 37, Issue 1, of Topics in Language Disorders by the Issue Editors Tami Howe and Robyn O'Halloran (2017). Howe and O'Halloran titled the issue, "A Turning Point for Inclusion" of Adults With Aphasia: Removing Barriers and Implementing Facilitators. We point readers to their issue editors' Foreword for a more detailed overview of the articles and their contributions to the topic.


Briefly, Issue Editors Howe and O'Halloran conceptualized this issue as a collection of articles that could illuminate facilitators and barriers to participation for people with aphasia for whom communication difficulty is a defining feature. They invited contributors to describe recent developments about inclusion and participation for people with aphasia from around the globe. First, Menger, Morris, and Salis (2017) review a method of using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (World Health Organization, 2001) to evaluate Internet use in people with aphasia. Next, Sather, Howe, Nelson, and Lagerwey (2017) describe the concept of flow as it is experienced by people with aphasia. Third, Howe (2017) provides a closer look at the impact of environmental factors affecting participation of people with aphasia through an exploration of found opportunities for social participation. Fourth, Solarsh and Johnson (2017) provide an overview of a program designed to increase communication access throughout the community. Fifth, Pearl and Cruice (2017) describe methods and provide examples of ways in which researchers may include people with aphasia in research studies. Finally, O'Halloran, Carragher, and Foster (2017) describe the use of two conceptual models as a framework for understanding environmental factors that affect people with aphasia.


Overall, we think that readers will agree that the articles in this issue provide an important overview of issues that affect the ability of people with aphasia to participate in their lives in meaningful and desired ways. Although many questions remain about how to improve outcomes, gaining a deeper understanding of the issues using a variety of methods from the perspectives of participants in multiple countries is a solid place to start. The articles in this issue echo a call from another aphasiology pioneer, Audrey Holland. Dr. Holland used her remarks during the 1982 Clinical Aphasiology Conference to encourage clinicians and researchers to employ natural observation as a powerful tool to understand aphasia's impact on people's lives. These current articles further the notion that participation is a complex and multifaceted concept that requires immediate attention by aphasiologists.


-Sarah E. Wallace, PhD


Associate Editor


-Nickola Wolf Nelson, PhD






Holland A. (1982). Remarks on observing aphasic people. In Brookshire R. H. (Ed.), Clinical aphasiology: Conference proceedings (pp. 1-4). Minneapolis, MN: BRK Publishers.


Howe T. (2017). Found opportunities for social participation: Facilitating inclusion of adults with aphasia. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 38-51. [Context Link]


Howe T., O'Halloran R. (2017). Issue Editor Foreword: "A turning point for exclusion" of adults with aphasia: Removing barriers and implementing facilitators. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 3-5. [Context Link]


Menger F., Morris J., Salis C. (2017). Internet use in aphasia: A case study viewed through the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 6-24. [Context Link]


O'Halloran R., Carragher M., Foster A. (2017). The consequences of the consequences: The impact of the environment on people with aphasia over time. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 85-100. [Context Link]


Pearl G., Cruice M. (2017). Facilitating the involvement of people with aphasia in stroke research by developing communicatively accessible research resources. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 67-84. [Context Link]


Sather T. W, Howe T., Nelson N., Lagerwey M. (2017). Optimizing the experience of flow for adults with aphasia-A focus on environmental factors. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 25-37. [Context Link]


Simmons-Mackie N. (2008). Social approaches to aphasia intervention. In Chapey R. (Ed.), Language intervention strategies in aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders (5th ed., pp. 290-318). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. [Context Link]


Solarsh B., Johnson H. (2017). Developing communication access standards to maximize community inclusion for people with communication support needs. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(1), 52-66. [Context Link]


World Health Organization. (2001). International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. Geneva: Author. [Context Link]