ACO is dedicated to facilitating the inclusion of people with aphasia in family and community life by bridging the communication gap.
The Aphasia Centre of Ottawa was founded in 1990 by Gillian Gailey and Kathy Stiell. They were inspired to create a centre where people with aphasia could feel at ease, supported, and valued despite their disability. They combined speech therapy and social work services to create a collaborative model of care in the community. They saw a need for services outside of the hospital to provide long-term ongoing support to people with aphasia and their families. Gillian and Kathy’s shared vision for the centre has guided it from its grassroots beginnings to what it has become today, a well-respected community-based program that facilitates renewed participation in family and social life for people living with aphasia.
Using a broad range of community-based and family-focused interventions, the ACO enhances the capability of people with aphasia and their families to continue living healthy lives and remain in their homes. Professional staff and trained volunteers provide communication therapy, counselling, ongoing support, and advocacy.
ACO enhances the capability of people living with aphasia and their families to continue living healthy lives and remain in their homes.
Gillian Gailey, Executive Director
Gillian, is a Speech Language Pathologist and co-founder of Aphasia Centre of Ottawa. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (M.H. Sc Speech Language Pathology1983) and is registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario. Gillian has been the Executive Director of ACO since its inception in 1990 and has devoted her career to ensuring families in the Ottawa region have access to the support of an Aphasia Centre. She has led the development of a wide range of services facilitating recovery of full potential and long term support for individuals and families living with chronic aphasia.
Kathy Stiell, Director of Family Support
Kathy is the co-founder of the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa and Director of Family Support. She has a Masters of Social Work from McGill University (1980) and is registered with the Ontario College of Certified Social Workers. Kathy is a clinical member of the Ontario Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and a certified therapist and supervisor in Emotionally Focused Therapy. She has provided leadership in making individual, couple and family counselling accessible to people living with aphasia.
Joanne Winckel, Director of Communication Programs
Joanne is the Director of Communication Programs. She has a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Toronto (1991), is a certified member of Speech-Language and Audiology Canada and a member of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario. Joanne is a bilingual therapist with experience in techniques for supporting the communication of people with aphasia and group therapy.
Emilia Perri, Communicative Disorders Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator
Emilia is a CDA registered with the Communicative Disorders Assistants’ Association of Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, and completed the Communicative Disorders Assistant program from Georgian College (2009). She has taken on a variety of roles at ACO, facilitating groups (both with stroke and non-stroke clients), providing ongoing individual therapy to clients, training, supervising and mentoring volunteers, and managing many of the day to day activities in the clinic.
Kelly Logan, Speech-Language Pathologist
Kelly is a speech-language pathologist with an interest in adult communication disorders. She has an Applied Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology from McGill University in Montreal. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from Carleton University in Ottawa giving a unique insight into language. She is licensed by the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) to practice in Ontario and is a certified member of Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC). Kelly works with people in both a group setting and in individual therapy to help improve communication needs.
Joanna Dickson, Communicative Disorders Assistant
Joanna Dickson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Speech and Language Sciences from Brock University, and completed the Communicative Disorders Assistant program from Georgian College (2015).
After completing an internship here and graduating from the CDA program at Georgian College we were delighted to have Joanna join our staff in the fall of 2015. She is currently facilitating a number of communication groups at the Centre. In addition, Joanna supervises our activity program, technology, and reading and writing groups.
Sarah Gutman, Social Worker
Sarah Gutman graduated with a Master of Social Work from McGill University and is a registered member of the Ontario Association of Social Worker and Social Service Workers.
Stephanie Isaacs, Communicative Disorders Assistant
Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Linguistics from Carleton University and studied Speech-Language Therapy in Edinburgh, UK at Queen Margaret University. She has completed the Communicative Disorders Assistant program from St Lawrence College (2016), graduating with distinction. Stephanie is a registered Communicative Disorders Assistant with the Communicative Disorders Assistant Association of Canada. As a former volunteer and student intern, she is very excited to join the team at the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa.