SLP Master Students on a Mission to Help those with Aphasia


Aphasia steals language leaving people knowing more than they can say.  Ten USF second-year Masters students in Speech-Language Pathology are on a mission to help unlock those words.






The students are on a 7-day Aphasia Cruise with their Clinical Instructor, Cheryl Paul.  The goal is to help the 26 people with aphasia who are part of the cruise and their care partners learn to use supported conversation tools and techniques to facilitate communication.

There are a total of 80 people traveling as part of the Aphasia Cruise.  In addition to training communication techniques among those in the group, the students assist those with aphasia when communicating with the ship’s crew onboard and with the people in the port cities.

The students are in the USF Study Abroad program and earn one credit hour of practicum credit toward their Master’s degree by participating.

Aphasia is a neurological disorder that can impact talking, reading comprehension, understanding what others say and/or written expression.  The leading cause of aphasia is stroke.  Aphasia can also result from head injuries; progressive brain disorders like Parkinson’s Disease; brain infections, etc.  One in every 250 Americans is living with aphasia.