How to Become a Member

Step 1

Initial Phone Screening

If you or a loved one has a diagnosis of aphasia, contact the Adler Aphasia Center to speak with a speech-language pathologist.  During this call, we will provide you with details about our program and answer any questions.  We will also discuss your specific situation and possible membership.  At this time, a site visit may also be arranged.  See below for membership criteria.

This is the only step required for attending the Aphasia Communication Groups.

Step 2

Center Visit

For Maywood, West Orange, and Toms River Centers:
You will meet with a speech pathologist in person to learn about this location’s program in depth. We will discuss your specific situation and learn more about you. You are encouraged to stay for the morning to observe or participate in our activities and discussions, where you will also meet other people with aphasia.

Step 3

Aphasia Education Program

For Maywood Center:

The Aphasia Education Program is a prerequisite for membership in Maywood. Think of this introductory program as “Aphasia 101.” The program is geared for people with aphasia and their spouses, family members, and/or caregivers.

The goals of this program are to:

  • Meet others with aphasia in a small group setting
  • Learn more about aphasia and its characteristics
  • Learn and practice how to communicate more effectively
  • Receive support for families and caregivers
  • Learn about community resources

The Aphasia Education Program is typically offered in April, August and December. The cost is $150 which covers the person with aphasia and any family members or caregivers who attend with them. This program may be attended as a stand-alone educational program. For more information contact Karen Castka at 201-368-8585 or email After completion of the Aphasia Education Program, a person with aphasia may join our full-service program.

For West Orange and Toms River Centers:

These locations accept new members on an ongoing basis, but a tour is still required prior to enrollment. Call the number in Step 1 above for further information.

For Aphasia Communication Groups (Haddonfield, Hammonton, Maywood, Monroe, Toms River, Virtual Groups):

These groups accept new members on an ongoing basis, but pre-registration is required prior to attending a meeting. Visit our Aphasia Communication Groups page for more information.

Criteria for Membership

Must have a documented diagnosis of aphasia.

Concomitant disorders (apraxia, dysarthria, dementia) may exist but must not be more prominent than the aphasia or prohibit the individual from actively participating and benefiting from Center activities.

Must not demonstrate behaviors that are disruptive, inappropriate or offensive to other members/staff/volunteers (e.g., extreme emotional lability, wandering, violent outbursts, etc.).

Must be able to exchange information (even if it’s very difficult or limited) and participate appropriately in group settings.

Must be able to sustain adequate alertness and attention to group activities for an hour.

Must be independent in activities of daily living (toileting, ambulation, eating) or be accompanied by a caregiver. The caregiver must be available to the member at all times while attending the Center.

Must have access to transportation to and from the Center during programming hours.

Our professional staff retains the right to deem a candidate unsuitable for membership based on the above or other criteria.
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