Kategoriarkiv: Konferenser – Conferences

Third day of the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019 #nordicaphasia @NAC2019Turku

Today’s theme at the Nordic Aphasia Conference is multilingualism (i.e. people speaking two or more languages). Treating people with aphasia who are multilingual is a real challenge!

The presenters, Mira Goral and Monica Norvik, raised some truly intriguing questions. How does the multilingual brain actually work? How do you know what to assess? If you need an interpreter during therapy, does the interpreter know enough about aphasia (and aphasia therapy) not to correct what the person is saying?

Since I am focused on issues of social media use, I found it particularly interesting that Monica said that social media may be used to get a picture of the person’s pre-onset use of the different language. The videos we make and post online thus become a tool for therapy, long after they were created.

The speaker to close the conference was Tom Sather from the USA. His talk was about ”flow”, or what it means to ”be absorbed in the moment” when living with aphasia. I have never come across anyone interested in this field before, and it is always fascinating to learn about new topics. He made an important point about a problem with ”aphasia friendly” material – do we over-simplify material to the extent that we take away the challenge?

Kati Renvall summed up the days by thanking everybody involved. Everybody did a very good job! I really enjoyed attending.

Finally, the next hosting city of the Nordic Aphasia Conference was revealed. It will be in Iceland! Yay! Reykjavik 2021, here we come!

Second day of the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019 #nordicaphasia @NAC2019Turku

After a nice welcome reception yesterday evening, and a good nights sleep, the Nordic Aphasia Conference continued today.

Like yesterday, the programme was filled with interesting presentations. I loved listening to Annie Hill and Johanna Naamanka about telerehabilitation, to Ulla Konnerup, Jane Marshall (remember EVA Park?) and Matti Lehtihalmes about therapy in virtual reality settings, to Madeleine Cruice about social media accessibility and to Katie Monnelly about the acutal technology use among people with aphasia. It is obvious that technology is an important topic within the aphasia field. Katie Monnelly concluded by saying: Get it done!

Annie Hill talking about telerehabilitation in Australia

Annie Hill talking about telerehabilitation in Australia

Ulla Konnerup talking about virtual worlds and aphasia

Ulla Konnerup talking about virtual worlds and aphasia

Katie Monnelly talking about how people with aphasia use technology

Katie Monnelly talking about how people with aphasia use technology

I also had my own presentation today. I talked about stories of self and the need to renegotiate them when acuiring aphasia. My point is that multimodal literacy practices gives a person with aphasia a choice of what to include in those stories, i.e. they increase their narrative agency.

I must say that I am a bit overwhelmed over all the positive feedback I got after the presentation. I think I am going to print the mentions on Twitter and put them on my office wall. They will make any struggling day easier, I am sure! Thank you, all.

Helena Taubner föreläser om sin avhandling

I am presenting my PhD thesis at the NAC2019 conference. (Picture stolen from @NAC2019Turku on Twitter)

 

First day of the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019 #nordicaphasia @nac2019turku

I am excited to be attending the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019! This year, the conference is hosted by the University of Turku, Finland. (Last time the NAC was in Copenhagen, remember?)

Interesting presentations, inspiring conversations, new ideas and lots of nice people!

Kati Renvall opening the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019 in Turku

Kati Renvall opening the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019 in Turku

I especially enjoyed catching up with professor Madeleine Cruice from City, University of London during the poster session. Her work has been so inspiring to me, and I really like meeting her at conferences like this one.

Camilla Olsson from Uppsala University presenting a poster

Camilla Olsson from Uppsala University presenting a poster

Among the oral presentations, I was most inspired by Becky Moss and Abi Roper, both from City, University of London. They are both interested in writing processes of people with aphasia (which is not very common), and since that’s very close to my own project it really inspires me. I am definitly going to stay posted about their projects.

Becky Moss presented findings from a study about facilitating writing through voice recognition software, and there were some truly heart warming stories within her material. Being able to write (again) is not merely a question of putting letters together, but more importantly about keeping a story of self going and maintaining relationships.

Camilla Olsson from Uppsala University presenting a poster

Becky Moss (City, University of London) talking about writing and aphasia

Abi Roper (and a group of others, including people with aphasia) is working on a project about helping people with aphasia expressing themselves online (the INCA project). Part of the project is developing an app for ”Blackout poetry”. The app, called MakeWrite, is meant to stimulate writing in a fun and poetric way, and it is free to download. I can’t wait to try it!

Abi Roper giving a presentation about the INCA project and the MakeWrite app

Abi Roper giving a presentation about the INCA project and the MakeWrite app

The welcome reception starts in a short while, so the conversations will continue there!

 

Oh, look! That’s me! – Nordic Aphasia Conference, Turku

The programme for the Nordic Aphasia Conference 2019 in Turku (Finland) has been published. And guess what? I am one of the invited speakers!

It is a true honour to be invited, and I can’t wait to meet all of the other aphasia researchers and practitioners. See you in Turku in June!

The programme is available at http://nac2019.fi/?page_id=93 and it will be updated with topics in due time.

Great way to spend Midsummer’s Eve: attending the #differentbodies conference in London

Have you ever given any thought to the matter of how bodies are represented in the (traditional or digital) media? Feminine bodies or masculine? And what about bodies different from the contemporary norms of appearence and function? These issues were the topic of the Different Bodies conference at the University of Westminster in London, which I attended on Midsummer’s Eve. 


No less than 17 presenters contributed, raising questions about the ”superhuman” narrative of the Paralympics athletes, the reclaiming of agency, power and beauty by amputated women such as Viktoria Modesta (go ahead and google her!), the violent masculine wrestler as a modern day Wound Man (yes, google him too!), parallels between Nietzsche and the social model of disability, the selfie practices of girls with disabilities (note to self: I have to look into the concept of ”neoliberal inclusionism”) and much more. What a day!



Last but not least, it was great listening to people from the Changing Faces foundation. They are campaigning for face equality and working against the stigmatising of people with facial disfigurement. What an important job they are doing! Their stories really highlights how extremely narrow normality is when it comes to appearence – not least in social media. 


I am glad I ended up spending this year’s Midsummer’s Eve in London! Thank you, all, for a great day! 

Nice meeting you all – Final day at the #NordicAphasia Conference

I found the final two lectures of the Nordic Aphasia Conference, given by Madeleine Crucie and Carole Pond, very inspiring. I listened to Madeleine in London this past December too, and it was a pleasure hearing her again. Her work on quality of life is essential, but today she instead talked about her recent work with the LUNA-approach to aphasia rehabilitation. It is all about meaningful personal narratives, which makes it truly interesting. Make sure to watch the videos on storieswithaphasia.moonfruit.com!
Next, Carole Pound made a extremely important point about us living in a dehumanising time, referring both to the refugee situation and to the present president of the United States. But what about health care in general and aphasia rehabilitation in particular?


To end the conference, there was a panel discussion based on questions produced (and placed in Lise Randrup Jensen’s now famous Shoe Box) by the attendees during the past two days. And what a panel it was! Elisabeth Ahlsén, Melanie Kirmess, Madeleine Cruice, Aura Kagan, Simon Horton and Carole Pound. I think I wasn’t the only one who felt all star struck!


It has been a pleasure meeting so many interesting researchers, clinicians and others during these days. Some of them were already my friends, some of them became new friends. Some of them I got a chance to talk to, others not. There is never enough time… But we’ll meet again at the next Nordic Aphasia Conference, in June 2019 in Turku, Finland!

 

Nothing new under the sun – Second day at the #NordicAphasia Conference

A parade of renowned researchers gave lectures today, during the second day of the Nordic Aphasia Conference. Julius Fridriksson (from the University of South Carolina) reminded us that every idea we can come up with probably allready has been tried out by someone else. For example, the idea of Speech Entrainment  (where the person with aphasia articulates words at the same time as someone else, looking at their mouth) was studied in 1913. He showed us a photo of the brain from one of the participants in the 1913 study and it was really striking to see the damage. 


I also enjoyed Monica Blom Johansson’s talk about the impact of aphasia on the life of significant others. She pointed out that there is a correlation between family members’ knowledge about aphasia and the quality of the relationships. The more information the family members get about aphasia, the better the relations within the family. Now, there’s a pedagogical challenge! 

 

I was also very pleased to find the most tipically Danish dessert I know, at the lunch buffé: Rødgrød med fløde. 

Conversations that matter – First day of the #NordicAphasia Conference in Copenhagen

So, what are my impressions of the first day at the Nordic Aphasia Conference in Copenhagen? What will I remember about this day? 


To be honest, I think I will most clearly remember reading a bed time story to a five year old girl – in Danish. And maybe that is what Aura Kagan’s truly inspirational talk this morning was about too… She emphasised that aphasia rehabilitation should be about conversations that really matter, instead of naming pictures or repeating phrases. And what could be more meaningful than to read bed time stories (even in a language that is far from perfect)?


This afternoon, I did my poster presentation. I really enjoyed the chats and encouragement. It is great to notice than issues of online identity are welcomed into the aphasia research field. 


Last, but certainly not least, I must acknowlede the aphasia artists showing their artwork next to the posters, and the aphasia choir giving their very first concert. Important, interesting and inspirational! 

Conference on Different Bodies, here I come!

I will be spending Sweden’s unofficial national holiday, Midsummer, abroad this year since I will attend the conference ”Different Bodies: (Self-)Representation, Disability and the Media” at the University of Westminster in London. My ongoing PhD project raises a lot of questions about online embodiment of the disabled body, so I am really looking forward to listening to the other presenters. The theme for my own presentation will be ”At least I can Walk – Online Re-negotiation of Identity in Post-stroke Aphasia”.

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