The 2020-2021 Aphasia Access
Distinguished Speakers Series

A Benefit of Membership

Aphasia Access is thrilled to be launching this series as its newest membership benefit. We have brought together an international collection of thought leaders in both aphasia research and aphasia care to create a line-up that could be the envy of any aphasia focused event the world over.

What makes these events even more remarkable is that they are not a traditional lecture. They are each intimate conversation that will start with their thoughts on observations on the day’s topics and turn into an open and free-flowing conversation. To make the conversation that much more impactful for everyone in attendance, each speaker has agreed to do a second session on their given day if interest is strong.

The 2020-21 Distinguished Speakers Series is your chance to connect, up close and personal, with speakers that you may have had to travel and pay a conference registration to see from afar. All it takes is a current Aphasia Access membership.

November – Nina Simmons-Mackie – December – Deb Meyerson & Steve Zuckerman
December – Lucy Dipper – February 2021 – Miranda Rose
May – Leora Cherney – August – Katarina Haley – October – Barbara Shadden – December – Linda Worrall

2020 Speakers



Nina Simmons-Mackie – November 13th | 1 PM ET

Nina is Professor Emeritus at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. She serves as a research consultant at the Aphasia Institute in Toronto and on the research committee of the Adler Aphasia Center in New Jersey. She has published over 150 articles and chapters and has many years of clinical, academic and research experience in the area of adult aphasia. She served as an editor and author of Supporting Communication for Adults with Acute and Chronic Aphasia. She has received the Honors of ASHA, ANCDS and the Louisiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association as well as the Robin Tavistock Award for Aphasia from the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia in the UK. Interests include neurogenic communication disorders, qualitative research, and social model philosophies.




Debra Meyerson & Steve Zuckerman – December 11th | 1 PM ET

Debra Meyerson is an author, advocate and a professor at Stanford University Graduate School of Education. Prior to her stroke in 2010, Debra’s academic work focused on feminism, diversity, identity and organizational change. Debra’s most recent book,  Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves after Stroke helps stroke survivors and those closest to them navigate the emotional journey that she has found very difficult—and rewarding. In addition to her work with Stroke Onward and her ongoing rehabilitation therapy, Debra serves on the boards of Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) and the Pacific Stroke Association (PSA). Debra received her B.S. and M.S. from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University.

Steve Zuckerman is President of Self-Help Federal Credit Union and Managing Director of Self-Help’s California operations. Self-Help is a nationally recognized Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), whose mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for underserved communities. Steve’s prior work experience includes almost 15 years with McCown De Leeuw & Co, a private investment firm, and consulting with Bain and Co. In addition to his work with Self-Help and Stroke Onward, Steve currently serves on the boards of Tides Foundation and Positive Coaching Alliance, as well as the New Market Tax Credit advisory board of Opportunity Fund. Steve earned a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where Debra Meyerson was his instructor.

Lucy Dipper

Lucy is a clinical linguist with a particular interest in aphasia, right hemisphere communication disorder and specific language impairment. She joined City University in 2000, and previously worked at University College London. Lucy studied Linguistics at Sussex University and then undertook both her Masters and PhD at University College London. Her Masters project investigated pragmatic skills in right hemisphere communication disorder and her PhD thesis explored links between thought and language, by examining verb problems in aphasia. Since then, Lucy’s research has continued to focus on thought and language in a range of communication problems, especially aphasia.

2021 Speakers


Miranda Rose

Miranda is the Director of the Aphasia Lab. She is a Principal Research Fellow and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at La Trobe University. Miranda’s research interests concern finding effective treatments and management strategies for aphasia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) from Lincoln Institute in 1981, Miranda worked in acute and rehabilitation hospitals in regional and metropolitan Victoria. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Neurogenic Communication Disorders and Neuropsychology before starting her academic career at La Trobe University in 1987, working in the areas of acquired neurological disorders and clinical education.



Leora Cherney

Dr. Cherney is Scientific Chair of the Think and Speak Lab at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRAlab) and Professor of both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences and Disorders  at Northwestern University.  Dr. Cherney founded the Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment at SRAlab where she is conducting cutting edge research to establish the efficacy and effectiveness of various aphasia treatments. Several innovative treatments have been computerized using state-of-the-art computer technology with a “virtual therapist”. Other treatments are biologically-motivated and include investigations of cortical stimulation or pharmacologic agents in conjunction with intensive speech-language therapy. The Center also offers a clinical Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP) and community groups to enhance communication and encourage and engage participation in everyday life activities. Dr. Cherney is a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) and the recipient of the Honors of both the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Academy of Neurologic Communication Sciences and Disorders (ANCDS)



Katarina Haley

Katarina is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-director of the UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders. She has worked with people who have aphasia for over 30 years. The main goals of her research program are to improve the diagnostic and assessment process for speech disorders related to aphasia and to empower families and rehabilitation clinicians to collaborate on interventions and solutions that strengthen communication access. Her research is published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. Dr. Haley is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS).



Barbara Shadden

Shadden was one of the first in the field of communication sciences and disorders to address communication disorders in aging, discourse in healthy aging and neurologically impaired individuals, social approaches to aphasia, and the impact of aphasia on care partners. Her work has influenced the assessment and treatment of people with aphasia, has explored how aphasia affects identity, and has illuminated the importance of communication for individuals with terminal illnesses




Linda Worrall

Dr. Worrall is Director of the Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation and Codirector of the Communication Disability Centre at The University of Queensland in Australia. She is also a Fellow of Speech Pathology Australia and Founder of the Australian Aphasia Association.