In June I gave a talk at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, a hospital and recovery facility that supports people with traumatic brain injury and physical disability. In addition to the short clip from my talk embedded below, there is also a link to my full presentation.
Watch the full presentation here
It was their 15th Annual Aphasia Day, celebrating and raising awareness about aphasia and the difficulties in overcoming it. I had already spent time at their facility doing speech therapy and was eager to give back to their community in any way I could. What struck me, as I prepared for my presentation with help from Steve and my speech therapist, was the almost ironic contrast between my undamaged love of presenting and sharing information with the amount of help I now need to do so. While I love teaching and sharing my story now as much as I did as a professor, I can no longer do so with the ease and fluency I could before. To present now is both mentally and emotionally taxing, as it not only requires more work in preparation but also often serves as a palpable reminder of what I still lack. The paradox of working through this reminder on a presentation of the possibilities of further recovery is not lost on me.