The Aphasia Initiative @ OSU East by Leonie Ly

“It’s a lot of help… I don’t like to get out much but I love coming here. I have to walk with a cane, and it bothers me when people watch and judge me. So this helps me actually get out and meet with people… It lets me know I’m not alone” -Tanikia S.

“I don’t like to go nowhere, I just like coming here!” -Eva M.


Group photo with two of our founding members. Pictured from left: Melody Culbert, Tanikia S., Eva M., Leonie Ly, SLP Graduate Student Clinician

The communication group known to immeasurably impact lives is expanding: The Aphasia Initiative has a brand new satellite location on Columbus’s near East side!  Patients traveled from as far as Sunbury to attend two successful pilot events in December 2022.  This innovative effort, originally pioneered by Speech-Language Pathologists on OSU’s main campus, later became a passion project of Melody Culbert, MA, CCC-SLP.  Melody was inspired to expand the Aphasia Initiative when placed at East Hospital as a graduate student in 2019.  As pandemic restrictions lifted, a need for social interaction in the healing process became enhanced; for individuals with aphasia and other speech disorders, this was even more significant.  Presently, this effort has already become a reliable highlight in some members’ weekly schedules, as they navigate society with their communication differences.  For community members around the near East side particularly, accessibility to free programs that offer increased efforts in functional life participation can be crucial.


The communication group utilizes activities informed both by evidence based practice, and the meaningful exchanges innately brought out by the soul of the community, to create an impactful experience.  Every Wednesday, members gather to participate in activities that enhance multimodal expressive and receptive language.  Structured conversation prompts given by therapists target expressive language and simultaneously provide opportunities for self-expression and connection.  Sharing personal goals focuses on sequencing and planning strategies, while also opening up chances for support for individual achievements.  Writing and signing get-well-soon cards allows practice in alternative communication modalities, and most importantly, uplifts members of the community in vulnerable times.  We hope that the Aphasia Initiative at OSU East can continue to bring light into this brilliant community.


The Aphasia Initiative East meets on Wednesdays from 1-2:30pm at OSU Outpatient Care East: 543 Taylor Ave, Columbus, OH 43203. Contact Melody Culbert at for more information and program registration. Join us for time filled with joy and connection!

One thought on “The Aphasia Initiative @ OSU East by Leonie Ly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *