Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Communication Sciences & Disorders

First Advisor

Mary Gospel


Aphasia is an acquired language disorder experienced by approximately one million Americans today, many recovering from stroke or traumatic brain injury. Traditional therapy has focused solely on regaining specific linguistic skills, including auditory comprehension, speech, reading, and/or writing. Conversation partner training is a newer trend in aphasia intervention that has emerged thanks to an increasingly social model of disability and the pressure to deliver meaningful and cost effective health services. It fits nicely with the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia, which encourages clinicians to help individuals with aphasia and their families set and meet their own goals for therapy, which frequently focus on an overall improvement in quality of life rather than specific language skills. The Two to Tango program developed by Toronto's Aphasia Institute provides education to a conversational dyad-in this case a person with aphasia and his or her spouse-on Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCA). This education is meant to make communication within a dyad more effective and to allow the person with aphasia to participate more fully in everyday activities. This thesis evaluates the practical impact of the program on two couples' lives. After being trained in various supportive techniques, each spouse was able to more comfortably elicit a greater amount of information from her partner with aphasia. The results from this study provide evidence that supports conversation-based intervention for people with aphasia and their families.