Marcella Carragher of LaTrobe University aphasia lab, who collaborated on the case series investigating Storytelling intervention in the virtual world, will present findings at The International Aphasia Research Conference2018, in Aveiro, Portugal.
The short presentation will be in Oral session 01 on September the 5th, 2018.
Two treatment approaches, cued noun naming plus semantic feature analysis & verb network strengthening therapy, designed for face-to-face delivery, were delivered remotely in EVA Park. Outcomes for the noun treatment were comparable to previous evaluations. Comparisons with previous research were more challenging for
VNeST, owing to differences in methodology.
There are 50 free ePrints available here.
During this project, four support groups, each involving 8 people with aphasia, will run for 6 months in EVA Park. The groups will be led by group leaders and volunteers. They will do activities designed to build relationships between the group members.
The research aims to find out:
Since the last update:
Research has been published from interviews with people with aphasia who used EVA Park in a previous study.
It shows that the EVA Park therapy was strongly associated with fun and enjoyment.
You can read about it here.
From a participant: “EVA has made me feel whole again”
From a group volunteer: Feelings of connectedness developed amongst the team delivering the therapy even though they had never met face to face.
The first study to use EVA Park in aphasia rehabilitation demonstrated significant gains in functional communication. This paper augments the findings of that study, by reporting results from qualitative interviews conducted with the 20 study participants. EVA Park intervention was strongly associated with fun and enjoyment. Participants particularly valued their relationship with the support workers who delivered the intervention. The virtual locations and activities in EVA Park were also appreciated, together with the contact with other participants. Perceived impacts related to communication, activity, computer use and confidence. These interview results indicate that the first intervention delivered in EVA Park was highly acceptable to participants and perceived as beneficial. They augment the findings of our experimental study and suggest that EVA Park could be a valuable addition to the resources available to practising clinicians.
You can access or request the paper through the City University open access repository here.
There are also 50 free ePrints available here.
EVA Park was demonstrated to a group of Stroke Association volunteers, fundraisers and donors as part of a legacy event at the wonderfully Christmas-y Goddard’s House & Garden – home of the chocolate orange!
The event included talks from the Goddard’s House history team and Stroke Association legacy team. Dr Rebecca Palmer spoke about stroke and aphasia and technology use in rehabilitation. Paula & John Smejka gave a heartfelt presentation on their experience of stroke & aphasia, and John talked about his experience of being a participant in EVA Park. John then helped to demonstrate EVA Park to the delegates, showing delegates how to use the technology and have a virtual conversation.
It was a great opportunity for the EVA team to make more links with people with aphasia, volunteers and coordinators in the north of England. The event enabled a wider group of people to become aware of EVA Park and everyone appeared to have fun having a go for the first time.
The EVA Park groups project will be running groups in the North West from April 2018.
The latest Stroke Association funded EVA Park project is a third of the way through! During this project, four support groups, each involving 8 people with aphasia, will run for 6 months in EVA Park. The groups will be led by local co-ordinators and volunteers, supervised by the EVA Park team. They will follow a planned programme of activities which are designed to foster relationships between the participants, and help build optimism and resilience. The research aims to find out whether this type of intervention is feasible in EVA Park, and whether it improves measures of wellbeing, communication and quality of life. We are also exploring participants’ views about the intervention and the views of the group volunteers and co-ordinators. Last, but not least, we want to know what it costs.
The project is being supported by an advisory group of people with aphasia, family members and representatives from relevant voluntary services. This group has met three times and provided us with invaluable guidance.
So far we have:
Two of the groups are well underway. The other two will start to meet next March.
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The EVA Park project team are are recruiting a qualitative researcher to join our innovative team.
The role is part time (0.4 FTE) starting in February 2018. The successful candidate will augment the findings of the group intervention project by conducting the qualitative data collection and will use interviews and consensus discussions to explore participants’ views about the EVA groups. The successful candidate will also analyse the data and help to report the findings.
A new publication reporting the experience that people with #aphasia had in #EVAPark has been published in ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) volume 10 Issue 4, October 2017. Free open access download available.
Overall, the study showed that participants in EVA Park experienced positive emotional and social outcomes. We argue that this was achieved as a consequence of EVA Park being an accessible, varied and entertaining environment, where people with aphasia experienced both the realistic and the quirky, engaged with others, and had fun.
The EVA Park Tavistock case studies were presented at the British Aphasiology Society therapy symposium, which took place at the SS Great Britain in Bristol on the 13th & 14th September. The talk focused on the outcomes of the verb naming (Verb Network Strengthening Therapy) and noun naming (cued naming plus Semantic Feature Analysis) therapies. Here is the abstract and here are the slides.
EVA Park was recognised in the 2016 NT100 – Nominet Trust’s annual celebration of the people and organisations using digital technology to change the world for the better. Discover the #2016NT100 at http://www.socialtech.org.uk/nominet-trust-100/2016/.
Read about our Language-Light UX Guidelines at http://languagelightux.org/wp/ – nine design guidelines for creating digital experiences that are accessible to people with aphasia.
The EVA Park team and researchers from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry have received a £158,111 grant from the Stroke Association to investigate whether support groups for people with aphasia can be be partly delivered in virtual reality.
See the full press release here.
EVA Park is coming to Melbourne!
La Trobe University is looking for people with aphasia in Melbourne to do therapy in EVA Park. Therapy will target telling a story.
This is part of a wider project trialling diffrent therapy approaches in EVA Park.
For all enquiries about the project running in Australia, contact Marcella Carragher:
Email: email@example.com Phone: 03 9479 1812
This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance from La Trobe University, Melbourne and City University, London.
Niamh Devane, Jane Marshall & Richard Talbot will be giving a talk on digital technology and aphasia at the NW CEN at Manchester Metropolitan University on Thursday 22nd September 2016.
The afternoon will include a talk from Jane, followed by a live demo of EVA Park with virtual tour guides with aphasia. There will then be an opportunity to try out EVA Park at one of several workstations we will set up.
You can sign up for the event on Eventbrite.
We are looking for five volunteers for people to do therapy in EVA Park. There will be different therapies, targeting:
As a participant in this study, you would be asked to:
You would do 20 therapy sessions, each lasting approximately 60 minutes.
Participation is voluntary. You will not be paid.
Download the project advert here.
For more information or to volunteer for this study, please contact:
Jane Marshall will give a platform presentation about EVA Park at the forthcoming IARC 2016 Conference, titled “Evaluating the benefits of aphasia intervention delivered in virtual reality”
See the full conference programme.
Jane Marshall, Helen Greenwood & Richard Talbot from the EVA team attended the West Midlands CEN, for a study morning for SLTs.
Held at the wonderful Birmingham City University campus, Jane Marshall gave a talk on technology and aphasia, highlighting the work at City University London.
The EVA team then presented information on the design and implementation of EVA Park, and presented results from the completed research project. Plans for the future were outlined. They then showcased the virtual communication environment by giving a live demonstrations of EVA Park, and facilitating a hands on practical session for delegates.
John Smejka, one of the participants in the research, was the virtual tour guide for the morning.
Thanks to everyone who attended, and to the West Midlands CEN for the opportunity and organisation.
See what Speech Advance thought about the day.
The EVA Park research team has completed a three year project showing that EVA Park can be used successfully to provide virtual language stimulation for people with aphasia. Twenty people had 5 weeks access to EVA Park, with daily sessions from a support worker, in which they conversed, carried out role plays and had group discussions. Results showed that the EVA Park intervention was very well received and brought about significant improvements on a measure of functional communication.
City, University of London has now been awarded two new grants by The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia to extend their research with EVA Park. The first project will employ a software developer who will transform the technology from a prototype to a version that can be released for general usage. The other project will further explore the therapeutic potential of EVA Park. Using single case experimental designs it will investigate whether EVA Park can be used to deliver specific language treatments, for example targeting word finding or sentence building. Both projects will produce freely available manuals and guidance materials, so that other centres can run the software independently and exploit the therapeutic opportunities of EVA Park.
Professor Jane Marshall, who leads the Eva Park team, commented: ‘We are keen for EVA Park to become a mainstream therapy resource that is widely available to people with aphasia. This funding from the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia is a major step forward in making this happen’.
For more information see the City University London press release.
An EVA Park Open Day was hosted at Woburn Safari Park on 26th February 2016. An audience of 70 people, most of whom were speech and language therapists, stroke survivors or their family members.
Professor Jane Marshall opened the day with an overview of the recent research project, which evaluated a therapy delivered in Eva Park with 20 people who have aphasia. Results showed excellent uptake of therapy with significant benefits on a test of everyday communication. Users’ views were also overwhelmingly positive. For example, one said: ‘Wonderful. Well it’s wonderful. Well it’s all my expectations are real’.
The next presentations were from John Smeijka, who was a participant in the project, and Abi Roper who was one of the support workers delivering the therapy. John talked about his experiences of aphasia and how Eva Park helped, while Abi outlined some of the techniques she used to deliver language stimulation in Eva Park.
Speaking on the day about Eva Park, John said: “I was invited to take part in the first season which took five weeks. There were five people like me, with aphasia and five people who were helpers, my helper was Abi. We had group chats on Fridays, we met up in the tree house the topic was current affairs, I read the newspaper first and we talk about that. Abi encouraged me to keep trying to say what I wanted to say. It was a challenge and was really really hard work, but it was amazing.”
The audience then had the opportunity to try out Eva Park at five computer stations and to discuss how it might be used to augment aphasia services. Many were able to meet other project participants who were online in Eva Park. Finally guests were invited to meet Woburn’s real life safari animals, a fitting end to the day.
In her closing talk, Stephanie Wilson outlined the future plans of the research team. With new funding from The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia they plan to develop the technology further, so that it can be released to clinical practitioners, and evaluate other forms of therapy delivered in Eva Park.
Speaking about the day, Professor Jane Marshall said:
“It was wonderful that so many service users and providers were able to join us in the beautiful surroundings of Woburn Safari Park to hear about the virtual island that we have created for people with aphasia. We are very excited about the therapeutic opportunities of Eva Park and it was great to see that our excitement was shared by the audience. We are very grateful to the Duke of Bedford for his generous hospitality and for making this day possible.”
See here for more information on the day.
EVA Park is a multi-user virtual world that gives people with aphasia unique opportunities to practise their speech and establish social connections. Funded by the Stroke Association, EVA Park was created at City University London by a multidisciplinary team of usability experts, speech and language therapy researchers and consultants with aphasia.
This event is for speech and language therapists who would like to find out more about EVA Park. You will:
• Find out how people with aphasia have benefitted from using EVA Park
• Find out what our future plans are
• Have a go in EVA Park
• Tell us what you think of EVA Park
There is no charge for attending but places are limited and must be reserved in advance: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to guarantee your place. We look forward to seeing you!
Download the EVA Park SLT Open Day flyer
EVA Park won the People’s Award in the 2015 Tech4Good Awards – thanks for all the support! You can find out more at http://www.tech4goodawards.com/winners-2015/
Whoop! We are delighted to be finalists in the Accessibility category of the Tech4Good Awards 2015 – along with some awesome competition. Vote for EVA Park at http://www.tech4goodawards.com/vote-now/ or by tweeting with hashtag #T4GEVA.
Jane Marshall talks about EVA Park and other uses of digital technology for people with aphasia in the latest issue of the RCSLT (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists) Bulletin.
We held a special event on the 10th June 2015 to celebrate the EVA project. There were talks about what the project has achieved, the research outcomes and what happens next. There were demos and lunch
All the many people who had contributed to EVA were invited: the 5 consultants who contributed to the design of EVA Park, the 20 people who participated in the live trial and the conversation partners who worked with them. Not forgetting the Stroke Association who funded the project and the project team as well.
Find out more about the event here.
How did we design EVA Park? Read about our codesign approach in the paper “Codesign for people with aphasia through tangible design languages”
Back by popular demand, EVA Park was on show at the HCID 2015 open day on the 30th April 2015. Find out more about the open day at http://www.interaction-lab.co.uk/category/events/
Jane Marshall presented the EVA research at the 2015 conference of the Danish Speech-Language-Hearing Association (Audiologopædisk forening – ALF) on March 16th 2015 at Nyborg in Denmark. The title of the talk was “Technological Applications in Aphasia Therapy”.
Hard to believe, but the final cohort of participants is about to enter EVA Park for five weeks of supported conversation. Time flies when you’re having fun… Like these earlier participants enjoying a fun day at the end of their time in EVA Park.
Made@City is an annual event that showcases the very best work from Computer Science students and research projects at City University London. This year’s event was held on the 17th June in Shoreditch Village Hall as part of London Technology Week.
Read more at http://www.city.ac.uk/news/2014/jun/made@city-creates-a-buzz-during-london-technology-week and listen to Tracey’s explanation of what it’s all about at https://soundcloud.com/c21media/tracy-booth.
EVA Park opened for the second time on the 12th May 2014! We welcomed a second cohort of research participants who spent the 5 weeks practising their communication skills with support workers and enjoying all the park has to offer.
Abi Roper delivered a presentation on the background, design and qualitative experience of the first ‘live’ period of EVA Park. This was followed by a hands-on demonstration of the technology where delegates were able to see EVA Park in action: Abi met ‘in-world’ another member of the research team and one of the participants from the first live period. Lots of interest from the audience!
Richard presented and gave a demo of EVA Park at the Centre for HCI Design’s Open Day on the 23rd April 2014. Lots of other interesting presentations as well…
Abi Roper spoke at the East Midlands Stroke Association Support Team Meeting in Nottingham on the 24th March 2014. She took the floor alongside one of the people who recently participated in EVA Park and his wife.
Abi was the participant’s support worker in EVA Park for 5 weeks and worked towards goals of chairing a meeting, giving a speech, organising a fun day and project managing the building of a new area within EVA Park! The participant and his wife talked about their personal experiences of stroke and aphasia, followed by a summary of their enjoyable experiences working on research projects at City University London, and EVA Park in particular. Abi gave her opinions of her experience working in EVA Park, and provided video examples, a description and an explanation of EVA Park.
EVA was in the spotlight in Steph Wilson’s invited presentation on “Creative Technology for Therapy in Aphasia” at the UK Stroke Forum Conference 2013 in Harrogate.
EVA Park Goes Live!
After a year of careful design, the big day arrived. EVA Park went live on Monday 11th November, welcoming its first visitors. Five people with aphasia visited the Park on a regular basis over a five week period to practise their communication skills.
Jane Marshall gave a keynote speech entitled “Technological Applications in Aphasia Therapy” at the British Aphasiology Society Conference, September 2013, Manchester. http://www.britishaphasiologysociety.org.uk/conferences
Details of our forthcoming study now included on the AphasiaNow web-site http://www.aphasianow.org/Resources/Aphasia_Research/. Take a look at their valuable resources.