Using The Westcoast Reader

Using The Westcoast Reader

Using The Westcoast Reader

Date posted: October 25, 2018

We’re proud to be publishing The Westcoast Reader and happy to see that it is being put to good use. Here’s an entry from this year’s Literacy Month contest that shows The Westcoast Reader in action.

Our communication groups meet weekly throughout the year as part of the larger Victoria Stroke Recovery Association and Saanich Peninsula Stroke Recovery Association. A Registered Speech-Language Pathologist (RS-LP) leads the group and mentors university undergraduate students and community volunteers who learn partner-assisted communication strategies. Our goal is to encourage language use in people with acquired aphasia following a stroke so that they can participate in their community. Sometimes this means single-word telegraphic speech. Sometimes the participants can form a sentence slowly but with great effort in producing the sounds of each word. Some people need to draw a picture, write down the first letter of the word to retrieve it for speech, or gesture to make themselves understood. All of our participants are able to read aloud and the ability to do so inspires confidence for conversational speech.

We subscribe to the West Coast Reader because of its excellent layout, accessibility and adult-oriented content. The Victoria Stroke Recovery Association Communication Group chose to do an interview as our submission. The Saanich Peninsula Stroke Recovery Association is submitting a poem.


by members of Saanich Peninsula Stroke Recovery Association Speech/Conversation Group

I couldn’t say a thing

I had everything backwards, sideways and every which way

Sometimes I get stuck

This is a new way of communicating

On my own

Confidence big, big, big

Why don’t I understand my own words?


Eventually the words would break through

I shall be able to say it

There’s a hope

People helping me to reach higher for another word

You sound good now


Victoria Stroke Recovery Association Aphasia and Literacy Interviews


1. Tell us about your group.

We are a group of people in Victoria, British Columbia who had strokes.  We had strokes between one and nineteen years ago. We all have a condition called aphasia. We meet weekly to socialize and practice our communication skills.

2. What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a language problem that occurs after a brain injury such as stroke.  We want people to know that our intelligence is not affected.

Aphasia affects language in the areas of

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Reading

Aphasia is a long-term condition but language improves with speech-language therapy and practice.

3. How does aphasia affect literacy?

Literacy depends on good language skills. Aphasia affects language and can make it difficult to read and write.

Reading is a problem when:

  • Too much information on a page or in a book
  • Print is too small
  • Letters are confused and get the wrong word
  • Vision and visual field affected-don’t see the whole page
  • Connections are hard
  • Mind wanders and can’t pay attention
  • Story is too long and doesn’t make sense

Writing is a problem because:

  • My right hand doesn’t work so I have to write with my left hand
  • Can’t spell so searching the internet is hard
  • Difficult putting words together for sentences

4. How does the West Coast Reader help you?

  • Interesting stories
  • Short paragraphs
  • Different reading levels are marked
  • Colour photographs keep our attention
  • Clear-lots of space around stories
  • No hyphens/split words across the columns

Thank you West Coast Reader!

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