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Acquired Brain Injury Communication Lab

Investigating communication disorders
Improving communication between people with acquired brain injury, their family members, friends and carers.

About us

The University of Sydney Acquired Brain Injury Communication Lab is a team of researchers investigating communication disorders following acquired brain injury (ABI). We work with research participants with traumatic brain injury, aphasia following stroke, dementia and other acquired neurological communication disorders.

The team is lead by Professor Leanne Togher, and includes experienced researchers, early career researchers, PhD candidates and honours students.

The goal of interacting with our family and friends is to maintain and even deepen our relationships, to facilitate our social identity and solidarity and to provide feelings of well-being and happiness. Speech pathologists have a critical role in facilitating this process.
Professor Leanne Togher, Director

Current projects

The Social Brain Toolkit

We are developing new online tools to help improve everyday interactions between people with a brain injury and their communication partners.

This project is supported by funding from the icare Foundation, and is being conducted in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, Brain Injury Australia and Changineers.

It is often hard for people with a brain injury to communicate with family members, friends, or the professionals who support them.

These "communication partners" may also struggle to know how to help the conversation go more smoothly.

As a result, people with a brain injury may feel isolated, but it can be challenging to use tools such as social media to connect with others.

This project aims to develop the follwing three online learning resources to help address these problems:

1. Communicating together after TBI: This short online course will be aimed at people who are unfamiliar with brain injury to help them develop confidence and knowledge in interacting with people who have had a brain injury.

2. Connecting on social media after TBI: This online learning module will be for people with a brain injury who are interested in using social media to interact with others. This module will be aimed at helping people engage meaningfully and safely on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

3. The Convers-ABI-Lity Portal: This online portal will guide a person with brain injury alongside their communication partner to complete a communication skills training program, with guidance from a speech pathologist. The portal will guide the completion of practice tasks, supported with videoconferencing check-ins with the speech pathologist.

We are looking for people with brain injury, their family members, and professionals who support them to help us design and test these tools. For more information, contact Rachael Rietdijk on rachael.rietdijk@sydney.edu.au or register your interest here.


Our people