Aphasia is an acquired language disorder affecting approximately one third of people who survive a stroke. It can affect people’s ability to speak, read, write and understand language. This is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language. Most people who have aphasia develop the condition following a stroke.
Aphasia affects each individual differently, varying in severity and in the skills it disrupts and spares. It can have a profound impact on a person’s life, affecting their relationships with family and friends, their ability to work, and their ability to pursue their hobbies and interests.
Further information about aphasia can be found on the Stroke Association website.
Various forms of technology have been developed to help people with aphasia compensate for impaired language, to support speech therapy and to enhance their quality of life. However, while virtual worlds can offer grounded contexts for practising speech and opportunities for social contact, no research into the potential of a virtual world for people with aphasia has been reported previously.