2023 has been an exciting year of change and growth for the National Aphasia Association. What have we been doing? Here are some highlights from our end-of-year reflection video.


  • Held our second Night of Aphasia Arts, featuring 147 pieces of art made by people with aphasia.
  • Unveiled our updated and upgraded website.
  • Held many Ask the Expert webinars, including one with former Congresswoman Gabrielle
  • Giffords and her speech-language pathologist, Dr. Fabiane Hirsch Kruse.
  • Led another successful Aphasia Awareness Month in June.
  • Funded two research grants.
  • Brought on a new executive director.
  • And much, much more…

We’re not slowing down, and we hope you’ll be right there beside us for the next twelve months.

Read the Script

Hello community! The end of the year is a great time for the NAA to look back at everything we accomplished in 2023. Did we fulfill our mission of promoting public awareness and understanding of aphasia? Did we educate and advocate for people with aphasia and their families? Did we continue to promote research that betters the lives of people with aphasia? Did we host events, provide resources, and connect the community in conversation?


Check, check, check, and check.


Our new website is a labor of love. We took your feedback and the needs of our service providers and spent many many many months improving the site. Take a look at the introductory post to learn how to navigate the new sections. Thank you to everyone who donated last year who enabled the creation of this new site and especially to Greg, our website hero, for making it happen.


We moved Night of Aphasia Arts from the fall to its permanent home in early March. This beloved event takes months of planning, and we could not do it without your 27 performances, 101 pieces of visual art, or 19 poems in our poetry booklet. — not to mention the hundreds of people who watched and celebrated the accomplishments of our aphasia artists. We will open submissions for Night of Aphasia Arts 2024 in December.


We continued to host monthly online expert discussions. We held a special Ask the Expert with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her speech-language pathologist, Dr. Fabiane Hirsch Kruse. They joined NAA President Darlene Williamson for a conversation about life with aphasia. About 600 people joined us on Zoom or via the YouTube livestream, and hundreds more watched one of the recordings. We learned so much from Gabby and Fabi.


Aphasia was often in the news, whether following John Fetterman as he helped the world understand how simple accommodations can keep people with communication challenges in the workplace. Or Bruce Willis’s family’s continual spotlight on primary progressive aphasia and its impact on the whole family. We are always grateful to people who use their platform for aphasia awareness, thrilled to support their efforts, and work to bring these stories to our community.


As always, we marked June’s Aphasia Awareness Month by getting people to #TalkAboutAphasia. Thousands watched our seven communication tips video. You can get those seven tips on a t-shirt in our newly launched NAA online store. In June, we also hosted four R.E.A.L. Ask the Expert webinars. R.E.A.L. stands for Relatable, Experienced Aphasia Leaders, otherwise known as people with aphasia. These webinars shared the advice and thoughts of people who live with aphasia every day.


In September, the NAA added a new executive director, Maura Silverman, who brings 34 years of expertise to the organization. We are thrilled to have her. We also announced the recipients of the 2023 Barbara Martin Aphasia Research Grant. The NAA funds two grants each year to research projects that benefit the lives of people with aphasia.


Finally, in memory of aphasia pioneer Dr. Audrey Holland, we launched the Audrey Holland Wellness Challenge. People with aphasia and their families are pledging to try one healthy habit that contributes to their well-being. We chose this challenge because Audrey worked tirelessly to treat the whole person, not just their aphasia. Aphasia impacts a person emotionally, physically, and financially.


What will 2024 bring? We will continue to provide resources for people with aphasia and caregivers to improve their lives, whether helping people navigate local resources that financially support people with aphasia, providing helpful communication hints and activities for use at home, suggesting ideas caregivers can use to take care of themselves while they take care of others, or connecting you to other people in the community to address the loneliness epidemic. We will spend the next twelve months increasing our already robust support of people with aphasia and their families.


Thank you for continuing to support the NAA so we can do this work together.