Our Stories

Kathleen Cotter, 2020 Graduate Student- School of Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences (SLHOS)


Kathleen recently earned Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and Related Disabilities’ Speech-Language Pathology Fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University.  Read more about this prestigious fellowship awarded to Kathleen HERE.

Kathleen was also spotlighted as a UM IPE Champion.

Congratulations and we wish you all the best, Kathleen!

Aphasia Groups in Rural Communities: A Conversation with Cathy Off

Aphasia Access Conversations

Episode 41

Aphasia Groups in Rural Communities 
A Conversation with Cathy Off

In this episode, Janet Patterson, Chief of the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Service at VA Northern California, speaks with Cathy Off about creating and sustaining an aphasia group in a rural community.


Dr. Cathy OffDr. Off is an associate professor in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing, & Occupational Sciences in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montana, where she directs the Big Sky Aphasia Program.

In today’s episode, you will learn:

  • about disparities in health care for persons living in rural communities
  • strategies to identify challenges specific to sustaining an aphasia group in a rural community
  • how art, aphasia, and teaching and learning intersect in Missoula, Montana

You can find the podcast online
on the Aphasia Access website or iTunes.
Happy Listening.


UM Program Helps Stroke and Brain Injury Survivors

The Big Sky Aphasia Program took place at the University of Montana Curry Medical Center through July 3rd. The intensive summer program serves individuals, families, and caregivers of individuals with acquired neurogenic communication disorders stemming from stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Participants of the program include students, veterans, and community members from across the state of Montana and stroke or brain injury survivors from across the country. These individuals are recovering from aphasia, and acquired apraxia of speech. The program is operated out of UM’s DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic.

June is also Aphasia Awareness Month. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder typically caused by stroke that impacts an individual’s ability to speak, write, listen, and/or read. It does not impact intelligence.

Members of the media are invited to work with Dr. Catherine Off and Jenna Griffin, co-directors of the program. With permission, they can provide access to the caregivers and patients trying to improve their lives.