Emerging Interfaces Award: Elisabeth Miller, “Telling Life Stories”

Elisabeth Miller, Emerging Interfaces Award recipient

This presentation features the “Telling Life Stories” multi-modal memoir group for persons with aphasia taking place at the University of Wisconsin Speech and Hearing Clinic. Aphasia occurs when the language centers of the brain are damaged, often by stroke, causing difficulty comprehending and producing written and spoken language—but keeping intelligence intact.

Elisabeth Miller, a Ph.D. student in English who studies literacy and disability, and Dana Longstreth, a speech language pathologist and clinical professor at the UW–Madison, discuss their experience organizing and facilitating this group. Looking at video clips and examples of the participantsʼ work, they explore what telling life stories offers to persons working to re-negotiate their identities after a traumatic health event. Such exploration reveals the intersecting role of storytelling and art with health sciences and speech language therapy. Above all else, this presentation celebrates the contributions of the persons with aphasia who have worked with this group to tell their own life stories.