On Wednesday, June 27th, the US Senate approved a resolution declaring June 2007 National Aphasia Awareness Month. S Res 256, sponsored by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, and cosponsored by Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, was passed by unanimous consent. A day later, in the House, Congressman Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts was the sole sponsor of H Res 523, which also passed unanimously.
Dr. Paul Rao, Speech Language Pathologist, member of the National Aphasia Association (NAA) Board and Vice President of National Rehabilitation Hospital, sought and received the NAA Board's endorsement to pursue a resolution in the House and the Senate declaring June 2007 as Aphasia Awareness Month.
Under the legislative auspices of Senator Tim Johnson's office, the NAA was able to craft a resolution that describes the cause and effects of aphasia and the need to increase public awareness of this silent disability.
These Congressional Resolutions are now part of the Congressional Record and can be used as advocacy tools to increase aphasia awareness throughout the year. The National Aphasia Association is indebted to Senators Biden and Johnson and their legislative staffs and to Congressman Markey and his legislative staff in bringing this resolution to full fruition in June of 2007.
The NAA encourages everyone to write a letter to the sponsors of the resolution, thanking them for devoting their time to this important issue.
About The National Aphasia Association
The NAA's mission is to educate the public to know that the word aphasia describes an impairment of the ability to communicate, not an impairment of intellect. The NAA makes people with aphasia, their families, support systems, and health care professionals aware of resources to recover lost skills to the extent possible, to compensate for skills that will not be recovered and to minimize the psychosocial impact of the language impairment.
The National Aphasia Association
Ellayne Ganzfried, Executive Director
Rachel Quimby, Information Coordinator