Participant’s perspective paper published

 aphasiology

The latest EVA Park paper by Ana Amaya and colleagues has been published in Aphasiology.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park in York

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.

IMG_3572   IMG_3576   IMG_3592   IMG_3578   IMG_3584   IMG_3571

 

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park Group project update

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:

  • Recruited the 4 groups, which are based across the UK
  • Recruited 34  participants with aphasia
  • Designed the programme of activities
  • Identified and trained all volunteers and co-ordinators
  • Started to collect data on all our measures

Two of the groups are well underway.  The other two will start to meet next March.

Check the website and Twitter for regular updates on how the project is progressing.

grouptweet

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The EVA team are recruiting

** THIS POST HAS NOW BEEN FILLED **

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.

Here is the job description. For more information see the City University of London job page.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

New publication reporting user experience in EVA Park

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA at BAS therapy symposium Bristol

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.

SSGB

BAS_platform

 

 

Posted in Events, News

Recognition in 2016 NT100

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/.

Nominet Trust 100 winner 2016 logo RGB FINAL

Posted in Uncategorized

Language-Light UX Guidelines

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.

LLUX

 

Posted in Uncategorized

New Stroke Association Funding: Virtual Group Support, Sept 2016

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.

Stroke association logo

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park research in Australia

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: m.carragher@latrobe.edu.au     Phone: 03 9479 1812

This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance from La Trobe University, Melbourne and City University, London.

LaTrobe logo

Posted in Uncategorized

North West SLT clinical excellence network, 22nd September 2016

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.

NW CEN

MMU_outside

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA paper published in PLOS ONE

The paper on the first EVA Park study has been published in the journal PLoS ONE

Check out the City University London press release and download the paper.

plosoneimage

Posted in Uncategorized

Recruiting volunteers with aphasia for therapy studies

July 2016: The EVA Park team are now recruiting volunteers with aphasia to take part in a new study, funded by the Tavistock Trust for aphasia.

EVA Park SLT Open Day

We are looking for five volunteers for people to do therapy in EVA Park. There will be different therapies, targeting:

  • Words
  • Verbs
  • Sentences
  • Telling a story
  • Communicating in everyday situations, e.g. at the shops

As a participant in this study, you would be asked to:

  • Do therapy 4 times a week for 5 weeks
  • Have your language tested 4 times
  • Be interviewed about your experience in EVA Park
  • Be filmed  in the tests and interview

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:

Richard Talbot      Telephone: 020 7040 3937     Email: richard.talbot.1@city.ac.uk
Niamh Devane      Telephone: 020 7040 8821     Email: niamh.devane.2@city.ac.uk

EVA Park SLT Open Day

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park presentation at IARC 2016

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.

Iarc_London

Posted in Uncategorized

West Midlands SLT clinical excellence network, March 2016

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.

IMG_1709      IMG_1711

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA awarded two new grants from The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia

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.

Tavistock LOGO

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA at Woburn Safari Park, Feb 2016

Woburn Invitation Banner

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.

 

20160225_125137       AbiNiamh

IMG_7263       FullSizeRender3

FullSizeRender[1]         20160225_164114

FullSizeRender

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park Open Day for SLTs, November 2015

Wednesday 25th November 2015: 1:30pm – 4pm
City University London, Room ELG10, Drysdale Building (lower ground floor)EVA Park SLT Open 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 eva@city.ac.uk to guarantee your place. We look forward to seeing you!

Download the EVA Park SLT Open Day flyer

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Winner of the People’s Award, Tech4Good Awards 2015

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/

Posted in Uncategorized

Finalist in Tech4Good Awards 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.

evanewsboard

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park features in RCSLT Bulletin, May 2015

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.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

End of project celebration, June 2015

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Paper reporting codesign of EVA Park, Jan 2015

How did we design EVA Park? Read about our codesign approach in the paper “Codesign for people with aphasia through tangible design languages”

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park returns to HCID open day, April 2015

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/

Posted in Uncategorized

Danish Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference, March 2015

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”.

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park live for the final time…

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.

Fun day in EVA Park

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park overall winner at Made@City 2014

DSC_0024 copy 3
EVA Park, represented by Tracey Booth and Abi Roper, came away from Made@City 2014 clutching the overall winner prize.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park Live Again (12th May 2014)

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.
grab25

Posted in Uncategorized

Computers in Therapy Special Interest Group Meeting in Bristol (15th May 2014)

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!

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA at HCID Open Day (23rd April 2014)

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…

Posted in News

British Aphasiology Society Research Update Meeting (April 2014)

Jane Marshall gave a presentation entitled “Evaluating the effects of a virtual communication environment for people with aphasia” at the British Aphasiology Society Research Update Meeting in Newcastle.  The theme of the meeting was “Digital Technology and Aphasia”, full programme is available at: http://www.britishaphasiologysociety.org.uk/files/Programme_BAS_RUM_at_Newcastle.pdf.
Lauren Davies gives a great overview of the day on her blog http://slt2b.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/an-overview-of-british-aphasiology.html.
Posted in Uncategorized

East Midlands Stroke Association Support Team Meeting (24th March 2014)

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

UK Stroke Forum Conference (Dec 2013)

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

EVA Park Goes Live

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.

Avatar

Posted in Uncategorized

British Aphasiology Society Conference (September 2013)

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

Posted in Uncategorized

AphasiaNow

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Now recruiting: Volunteers with aphasia

We are looking for 20 people with aphasia to try out EVA park for 5 weeks.

For more information: Volunteers with aphasia needed

Posted in Recruitment

Now recruiting: Communication support workers

We’re currently accepting applications from potential Communication Support Workers, to join the EVA project. As a Communication Support Worker you will assist in our experimental trial by supporting conversations in EVA Park  with people who have aphasia.

Interested? More information

Posted in Recruitment

Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Conference (May 2013)

The Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Conference was held in Dublin in May 2013.  Jane Marshall gave a platform presentation on “Computer Therapy Tools for People with Aphasia”, including the latest news from EVA.
Posted in Uncategorized

Presentation at UCL’s Aphasia Research Group on 27/02/13

Niamh gave a presentation at UCL’s inaugural Aphasia Research Group meeting on the 27/02/13. Spreading the word about the EVA project and filling people in on what we’ve been up to so far and what we have planned for the future!

Posted in Events