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“Just Not Together”: The Experience of Videoconferencing for People with Aphasia during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Neate, T., Kladouchou, V., Wilson, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-6445-654X & Shams, S. (2022). “Just Not Together”: The Experience of Videoconferencing for People with Aphasia during the Covid-19 Pandemic. In: CHI '22: Proceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (pp. 1-16). New York, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. ISBN 978-1-4503-9157-3 doi: 10.1145/3491102.3502017


People with language impairments, such as aphasia, use a range of total communication strategies. These go beyond spoken language to include non-verbal utterances, props and gestures. The uptake of videoconferencing platforms necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic means that people with aphasia now use these communication strategies online. However, no data exists on the impact of videoconferencing on communication for this population. Working with an aphasia charity that moved its conversation support sessions online, we investigated the experience of communication via a videoconferencing platform. We report a study which investigated this through: 1) observations of online conversation support sessions; 2) interviews with speech and language therapists and volunteers; and 3) interviews with people with aphasia. Our findings reveal the unique and creative ways that the charity and its members with aphasia adapted their communication to videoconferencing. We unpack specific, novel challenges relating to total communication via videoconferencing and the related impacts on social and privacy issues.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the paper, hosted by the authors. Definitive version published at CHI 2022 (New Orleans, LA, USA) and available at: https://
Publisher Keywords: Videoconferencing, Aphasia, Covid-19 Pandemic, Total Communication, Accessibility
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
Text - Accepted Version
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