Project BRIDGE:

Building Research Initiatives by Developing Group Effort

About Project BRIDGE

People living with aphasia should be a part of the research process. Their input makes research more relevant.

The purpose of BRIDGE was to bring people living with aphasia and researchers together to do research. Trainings were created to help those living with aphasia understand research and how to talk with researchers. Researchers learned how to talk about research with people with aphasia. Then, everyone met at a conference in October 2018 and created research teams.

Project BRIDGE 2.0: Building a Bigger Bridge

We now have created a Researcher Incubator Network. The network will have a hub at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. There are four regional centers across the United States:

  • University of Nevada in Reno, NV: Western Regional Center
  • Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI: Northern Regional Center
  • University of Central Florida (Aphasia House) in Orlando, FL: Southeastern Regional Center
  • Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, NJ: Northeastern Regional Center

Our Plan:

We want to double the number of research teams. We want the Researcher Incubator Network to help support this work. We want everyone to be successful. The project will run from January 2020 to December 2021.

Anyone who is interested in this kind of work can be a person with aphasia, a family member, a clinician, or a researcher. Anyone new to Project BRIDGE must SIGN UP TO GET STARTED and REQUEST TRAINING through this webpage:

Students wishing to participate in Project BRIDGE need to complete this self-directed learning module on supported conversation for adults with aphasia (SCA).

Please contact Aphasia House at UCF:
Lauren Bislick: Regional Center Coordinator

conference where Project BRIDGE was presentedconference where Project BRIDGE was presentedconference where Project BRIDGE was presentedgroup photo of people that are part of Project Bridgegroup photo of people that are part of Project Bridgegroup photo of people that are part of Project Bridgegroup photo of people that are part of Project Bridge
Audrey Holland, Project BRIDGE: October 2018
Kathy Yorkston, Project BRIDGE: October 2018
Project BRIDGE: October 2018
Team Caregiver: Alex Brice (USF), Rick Reese (survivor), Becky Reese (spouse), Amy Engelhoven (UCF), Donna Polelle (USF), Erika Boyle (spouse), Bri Bieger (Lingraphica), Kathy Yorkston (UW), and Marlyss Williams (spouse)
There were 102 people at the conference from all over the United States. Eleven research teams were formed. Many of the teams presented their research at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association convention in November 2019. Pictured: Lauren Bislick (UCF), Elizabeth Madden (FSU), Amy Engelhoven (UCF), Kerry Lenius (UF), Jodi Morgan (Brook’s Aphasia Center), Alejandro Bryce (USF), Tom Brussard (survivor), Jackie Hinkley (Nova SE), Jennifer Kurnal (survivor).
Pictured: Chase Rushlow (survivor) at ASHA
Team Yoga: Chase Rushlow (survivor), Deanna Rushlow (parent), Lauren Bislick (UCF), Greg Kersey (spouse), Aimee Dietz (UC), E. Susan Duncan (LSU), Chitrali Mamlekar (UC), Alyse Watt (UC) at ASHA

Current Members of the Advisory Team:

  • Jackie Hinkley, Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale
  • Alejandro Brice, Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Michelle Bourgeois, Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Tom & Erika Boyle, Suncoast Aphasia Support Group, Sarasota
  • Mike & Kathy Caputo, Co-Founders, Voices of Hope for Aphasia, St. Petersburg
  • Anthony Kong, Associate Professor, University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Cheryl Paul, Clinical Instructor, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Donna Polelle, Instructor, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Angela Ziegler, Adjunct Clinical Instructor at Aphasia House at the University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Suzy Johnson, community advocate and person living with aphasia, Orlando

Suggestion Box

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