Weekly Groups

Join us in an aphasia-friendly environment to practice conversation, watch and discuss films, improve writing skills, or learn the basics of computers. Sample descriptions of our weekly groups are provided below. For times and locations, please see the ARC Fall 2016 Program.

Registration for the Fall 2016 Weekly Program is now closed.

For more information, please contact us at 617-353-0197.

Aphasia Community Chorus

Music, an essential form of communication, is especially rewarding, inspiring, and empowering for people with aphasia and related disorders. Facilitated by a neurologic music therapist from MedRhythms, LLC, and graduate students, the Aphasia Community Chorus will hold weekly rehearsals leading up to performances during the semester. Previous singing experience is not required. Please join us for this unique and exciting opportunity.

Book Club

This group meets to discuss the content and ideas generated through reading a text. The “book” is ~300 pages in length, and is chosen by the group members from a choice of 4-5 offered texts. Group members may read the text from print or via CD.

Community Connection

This group uses structured activities to focus conversation around central themes, ending with a community visit. In each session, we work progressively through the chosen theme, allowing group members to build vocabulary and increase their communication effectiveness. In the final week, the group visits a local destination that exemplifies the theme.  Our aim is to keep each session interesting and meaningful, having fun while we share ideas and experiences.

Computer Group

We teach basic computer skills in an aphasia-friendly environment. Group members learn to navigate the Internet, communicate with others by email, and use other computer programs of their choosing. The group focuses on increasing communication among group members and improving discrete forms of language such as reading, typing, and following auditory instructions.

Conversation Group

This group will address functional communication through talking, gesturing, drawing, and writing. Drawing upon our experiences and interests, participants will practice using effective strategies to exchange ideas and develop connections through communication.

Film Group

This group will feature both classic and contemporary films. Each will be screened over two or three sessions, followed by group discussion of the plot, characters, relationships, and other aspects of the film. Even if you’ve seen these films before, another look will give you an opportunity to discover new things.

Function and Fitness Group

Our goal: enhancing walking ability, balance, and daily mobility. The skills learned in this group will help improve an individual’s ability to engage in community activities. Participants should be able to walk independently in the household AND at least two blocks in the community (with or without a cane or brace).

Games Group

This group will focus on different aspects of language (naming, discourse, gestures, reading and writing) through involvement in different types of age-appropriate games. Games will be chosen on a weekly basis by group consensus to facilitate group members’ communication goals. Group members will also be encouraged to suggest and teach favorite games.

Intro to Journaling Group

This group will introduce participants to journaling as a tool for reflection and communication.  Group members may choose to express themselves through any combination of writing, drawing, photography, voice and video. Group members may also use an iPad for storing their journal and support for iPad use will be integrated into weekly sessions.

“In the News” Group

Many of us enjoy reading or watching the news. In this group, we will practice sharing thoughts and ideas as we discuss current events taking place around the world. We will read and/or watch news articles and discuss these current events. Participants should understand spoken or written language at a paragraph level.

iPad Basics Group

This group will begin with an overview of using the iPad and explore ways in which the iPad can be used as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Group members will use various apps to support their communication with others (e.g. Maps, Camera/Photos, Skype/FaceTime, Safari, Calendar, etc). The group will also review the iPad’s accessibility features (e.g. text to speech). Owning an iPad is not required for participation. However, please indicate on the application form if you have an iPad. This group is designed for people who are relatively new to the iPad.

Newsletter Group

Many people with aphasia struggle with writing. This group focuses on the fundamentals of simple sentences, working toward more complex narratives. By the end of the semester, the group produces a newsletter, The Aphasia Times, on behalf of the Aphasia Community Resource Center. Members are encouraged to work in teams on specific tasks designed to meet their individual writing goals.


This group will focus on communicating fluently and concisely when you are speaking in stressful situations such as when you meet new people, are speaking to a large group, or are using the telephone. This group is modeled after the Toastmasters Club, whose philosophy is to learn by doing in a supportive environment. Group members will have the chance to give both prepared and impromptu speeches, and to give feedback to other group members. We will incorporate specific strategies to increase your comfort and skill in speaking in these environments.

Total Communication

This group will incorporate conversational, writing, gestural activities, and other forms of verbal and non-verbal communication. The emphasis will be on effective communication through any means. This group is designed for people with more severe forms of aphasia.

Writing Group

In this group, participants work on the fundamentals of writing and spelling at a single word level, progressing to simple sentences. Tasks focus on functional language to help with daily challenges such as list-making, Internet searches, and email.