UCF Aphasia House Director and Assistant Professor Lauren Bislick has been named as a recipient of the 2023 Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Distinguished Scholar Award for her research and service contributions focused on enhancing quality of life in persons with aphasia. Bislick received the award at the Clinical Aphasiology Conference held in June in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Founded in 1992, The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia gives the prestigious award to a select group of people in their early careers who have dedicated significant time and effort to research, mentorship or advocation of improved quality of life for those with aphasia.
Bislick’s early research and career focused on the understanding and treatment of aphasia and acquired apraxia of speech resulting from left hemisphere stroke, and later evolved to include improving quality of life this clinical population. Her work and research was inspired through Project BRIDGE, a collaboration of researchers, clinicians and people living with communication disabilities who co-design and influence research. Bislick has overseen quality-of-life focused research that resulted in 28 presentations, eight manuscripts, as well as opportunities and programs that led to significant external funding to continue research and better the lives of people dealing with aphasia. She has collaborated with a team of students, professionals, and persons with aphasia to create an aphasia advocacy training video for first responders, an aphasia-friendly yoga program for people with an acquired brain injury and their care partners, and has worked to better understand the impact of aphasia on friendship maintenance and development.
As the director of the Aphasia House, Bislick leads the teams of graduate student clinicians and licensed aphasia educators who deliver multi-week intensive therapy programs in a homelike setting to help aphasia patients achieve their communication goals. The program is one of just a few of its kind in the nation.
Bislick also serves as the director of the Aphasia and Related Conditions Research Lab. Working with undergraduate and graduate students, Bislick also offers support and opportunities through Mission SPEAK (Socialization, Partnership, Engagement, Advocacy, Kindness), a program for people with aphasia to grow their communication skills in a safe and comfortable environment.
Bislick’s work throughout her different roles have been featured in over 20 publications and 70 regional, national, and international conferences. Her work has positively impacted the lives of countless people, not only those with aphasia, but also their families, partners and caregivers.
The honor comes with a $1,000 stipend, a certificate, a Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Distinguished Scholar badge and the title of Distinguished Scholar.