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.
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
Joanne Winckel, Director of Communication Programs
Emilia Perri, Communicative Disorders Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator
Kelly Logan, Speech-Language Pathologist
Joanna Dickson, Communicative Disorders Assistant
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.
Stephanie Isaacs, Communicative Disorders Assistant
Joyce Ford, Social Worker
In her past endeavors Joyce has been a self-employed business owner running her own Montessori school in Kanata. After her business experience, she held various jobs with Inuit organizations in Ottawa including as an employment counselor and a health policy adviser.
Joyce received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Carleton University in 2017 and is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Joyce is also pursuing her certification in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) for couples.
Sophia Mengad, Speech-Language Pathologist
Sophia is a speech-language pathologist. She has a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Ottawa (2017). She is a member of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and The Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA). After completing an internship here and graduating from the S-LP program at the University of Ottawa, Sophia joined the ACO team as a bilingual therapist who leads individual and group therapy sessions with people who have aphasia.
Evelyn Weger, Social Worker
Evelyn is a registered Social Worker and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers Provincial Board of Directors. Evelyn graduated with a BA and a BSW from the University of Victoria and her MSW from Carleton University. Throughout her career she has dedicated herself to empowering people through counseling, advocacy, education and resources.