302-831-7100 slhclinic@udel.edu

Life Participation Groups

At the University of Delaware, we understand that speech therapy is just the beginning of a patient’s journey toward effective communication. Our Life Participation Groups, inspired by the philosophy behind the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (Chapey, 2000), offer supportive spaces for patients and their communities to practice and engage.  They offer a transformative experience for patients, communities, and students alike. These groups empower participants to engage with like-minded individuals who understand their unique strengths and specific challenges. Participants co-create a supportive space to practice and maintain their (newly acquired communication skills) speech, language, thinking, reading, and writing skills, all while having fun.


Our Life Participation Groups offer a multifaceted and holistic approach to communication, and they provide our students with a unique opportunity to engage with the human side of healthcare. Our developing graduate student clinicians play a pivotal role in facilitating and co-creating these groups alongside the group members and experienced clinical educators. They learn to support both the individual and the collective communication needs of the participants.


What the Students Think

“To the new student overwhelmed by the demands of our rigorous program, LPGs might initially appear as just another task. I confess to feeling this way during our first few weeks. However, I now recognize that LPGs are incredibly important. They benefit the participants, allowing them to be part of a community where they can relate to others with similar experiences. LPG participation is also valuable for us students, providing essential clinical skills and, more importantly, offering a new perspective on the human aspect of our profession. LPGs are a distinct strength of the master’s program.”


“There were some weeks that I felt like I failed in my current LPG, and we got emails from a participant twice about how much they love coming to our meetings, and how great we are doing! It made my day and gave me a huge boost of confidence. It made everything feel like it was falling together, and that THEY are the reason why we are doing this. It isn’t about a grade, or how we look to our CE’s, or what we could have done better in the moment. It’s about improving for the future, for when we are in the field and on our own. This is the time to make mistakes, because these are all fun and games (and movies)!”

Tuesdays, Weekly 11:30am – 12:15pm

This weekly conversation coffee house is designed for individuals with aphasia and their care partners. It provides a supportive and engaging space for communication. This group meets regularly on Zoom and twice a month in person in Room 113 in the Health Sciences Complex.  Please email aphasiaUD@udel.edu for more information.

Fridays, 11:30am – 12:15pm

This is a weekly online communication group for people with communication difficulties following stroke or brain injury. Participants join via Zoom to discuss movies and play games while fostering connections and communication. Email aphasiaUD@udel.edu for more information and to join.

First Thursday of Month, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

This virtual group is presented in collaboration with The Brain Injury Association of Delaware and aims to provide a supportive space for those caring for someone with a brain injury. Through this platform, caregivers are given the opportunity to share, connect, and explore community resources geared towards the brain injury population. For more information and the link to join please email admin@biade.org.

First Wednesday of every month, 7:00pm

Engaging and empowering individuals within the gender-expansive community (18+)! This group will act as a safer space for individuals interested in promoting elements of voice and communication that feel authentic to each individual’s sense of gender identity, learning about how their voice works, exploring what their voice can do and connecting with other members of the community for whom vocal identity has been a challenge.  Please email GenderExpansiveCG@udel.edu for more information and the link to join!

Mondays at 4:30pm

Neuro Notes is a choir for empowerment and community promoting physical, emotional and overall well-being for people with Parkinson’s and other acquired neurological conditions, and their families. Meetings are facilitated by both a speech-language pathologist and a singing voice specialist. Members will have the opportunity to learn select songs and perform at a concert at the end of the semester. For more information, please contact neuronotes@udel.edu.


Thursday from 4:30pm –5:30pm

These groups are for individuals with Autism / Autistic people.  We implement the premise of Improv of “Yes and…” to create a supportive environment where we engage with others, practice communication and friendship skills and have fun! Meetings are facilitated by 2 University of Delaware graduate students and a supervising Speech Language Pathologist. We design sessions to play a variety of Improv games, practicing aspects of social communication. We offer in-person and/or telehealth sessions on a biweekly basis for participants, both local and far!  Please contact SocialComSLP@udel.edu for more information.

Fridays, Weekly 3:00pm-3:45pm 

SPEAK OUT! Group is a free weekly vocal exercise opportunity for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease who have completed a course of speech therapy.  This transition group reinforces skills learned during speech therapy while adding a sense of camaraderie as participants get to know one another.  SPEAK OUT! Group vocal and cognitive exercises are modeled after the evidenced-based SPEAK OUT! therapy program developed at Parkinson Voice Project in Richardson, TX.  You can visit their website HERE. Please email parkinsonsvoiceud@udel.edu for more information and the link to join!