ERIC Number: EJ1209470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Negotiating Communicative Access in Practice: A Study of a Memoir Group for People with Aphasia
Miller, Elisabeth L.
Written Communication, v36 n2 p197-230 Apr 2019
Resulting from stroke or brain injury, aphasia affects individuals' ability to produce and comprehend language, but it also creates profound social changes, limiting individuals' opportunities to communicate or to be seen as capable of communication. To address these challenges, the field of communicative sciences and disorders (CSD) has sought to ensure "communicative access" by reducing barriers to communication. This article, through an analysis of the communicative practices of participants in a memoir group for people with aphasia, develops a nuanced conception of communicative access as a process of negotiation across individuals and modes and not just as a process of reducing barriers. The study shows, specifically, that rather than the mere presence of multiple semiotic resources enabling communicative access, individuals enact access by flexibly shifting between modes to take advantage of various kinds of affordances that best suit their needs. This willingness to use modes in atypical or nonnormative ways importantly challenges the very idea of "normal" communication. The theory of communicative access developed in this article melds (a) a CSD understanding of communication as social and tied inextricably to identity with (b) a disability studies conception of access as an ongoing, negotiated process and with (c) a writing studies emphasis on literate, communicative activity as complexly layered, distributed, negotiated, and (multi)semiotic.
Descriptors: Aphasia, Language Processing, Communication Skills, Autobiographies, Barriers, Semiotics, Self Concept, Disabilities, Writing (Composition), Communication Strategies, Case Studies, Clinics, Speech Language Pathology, Personal Narratives, Listening, Freehand Drawing, Interpersonal Communication, Group Therapy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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