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Media Memo: UW-Eau Claire students help with Aphasia Camp at Camp Manitou

TO: News Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume

DATE: Sept. 10, 2010

SUBJECT: UW-Eau Claire students help with Aphasia Camp at Camp Manitou

Eighteen University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will volunteer their time this weekend to help people who have had strokes and their family members enjoy a weekend at the Eau Claire YMCA's Camp Manitou in New Auburn.

The UW-Eau Claire student volunteers who are from the university's communication sciences and disorders department will work with 25 campers during the Sept. 10-12 Aphasia Camp. The camp began at 10 a.m. Friday and will continue until about noon Sunday.

During Aphasia Camp, the 25 campers will participate in various activities including fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, woodworking, crafts, art, dance, photography, hiking, yoga, tai chi, adaptive golf, music, campfires, book club, adaptive archery, Frisbee golf, softball and fitness assessments. Counseling, massage and other supportive services also will be available.

Aphasia affects a person's ability to express and understand verbal and written language. It typically occurs after a stroke or a head injury. Treatment often involves speech therapy that focuses on relearning and practicing language skills and using alternative or supplementary communication methods.

This weekend's camp provides people with aphasia opportunities to interact and practice their communication skills in a supportive setting.

Dr. Katherine Schneider, senior psychologist emerita from UW-Eau Claire, will be the keynote speaker at the weekend event. Barbara Shafer, a lecturer of art & design at UW-Eau Claire, and Dr. Marquell Johnson, assistant professor of kinesiology at UW-Eau Claire, will be among the instructors at the camp.

One of the first camps of its kind, the Aphasia Camp at Camp Manitou attracts participants from throughout the United States and Canada.

Luther Midelfort in Eau Claire runs the camp with the help of UW-Eau Claire and other community groups. Mary Beth Clark from Luther Midelfort is the camp director. The camp is in its seventh year.

For details about UW-Eau Claire's involvement in the camp, contact Dr. Jerry K. Hoepner, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at hoepnejk@uwec.edu or 715-836-3980.

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