Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Michelle S. Bourgeois, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Nathan Maxfield, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Howard Goldstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Alyssa Lanzi, Ph.D., CCC-SLP


Aphasia, Low Tech-AAC, Multi-modal communication, Visual Aids, Visual Cues


Interacting with individuals with expressive aphasia can be particularly challenging not only because of the language impairments, but also because of the frequent age difference between the clients with aphasia and student clinicians. Although students learn a variety of strategies to support language impairments, there remains a need to bridge the age gap in historical knowledge to enhance conversation. The current study explored the use of a timeline as written and pictorial cue to support conversations between individuals with aphasia and students. This study consisted of Two Experiments. The purpose of Experiment 1 was to identify the differences in knowledge of important events during 1970, 1980, and 1990 between older adults and younger adults. Thirty older adults who were age 20-25 during the decade of 1970, 1980, and 1990 were recruited. In addition, thirty younger adults who were in the age range of 23-27 years old were recruited from undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of South Florida. Participants were given two surveys. Survey A was an open-ended survey to determine what pop cultural, political, and historical events both parties could identify for a given decade (‘70s, ’80s, ‘90s). Survey B consisted of a list of important events categorized as pop cultural, political, and historical. Participants (older adults and younger adults) were asked to rank in order of importance the items provided on the survey. Results for Survey A indicated that seniors identified more historical events than students across all decades (Group means for seniors (8.57) and for students (1.83 ) differed significantly [F (1,54) = 46.5, p < .000] ). The difference in decades and the group x decade interactions were not significant, [F (2,54) = 1.19, p > .05 and F (2,54) = 1.21, p > .05, respectively. Pairwise comparisons were calculated, and significant differences for groups were shown for all three decades (Student’s t = 3.22, 3.80, and 2.22 for 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, respectively). Results for Survey B indicated that for the decade of 1970, younger adults identified eight out of the top ten events the older adults ranked as the most important. For the 1980s, younger adults identified eight out of ten events the older adults ranked as most important. Finally, for the decade of 1990, younger adults identified nine out of the ten events the older adults ranked as most important. For Experiment 2, the visual Timelines were constructed using the information from Experiment 1. The timelines (consisting of written and pictorial cues) were evaluated for their effectiveness in enhancing conversations between PWA and Speech Language Pathology student clinicians in Experiment 2. A total of 15 participants were recruited, 7 students and 8 individuals with aphasia. Dyads participated in two, 10-minute conversations with and without the timeline. Conversations were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Results showed that conversations with the timeline present had significantly more Timeline statements (p=0.02) and Novel statements (p=0.03) than without the timeline present. The above findings demonstrate a gap in knowledge between the older adult population and younger adult population for the decades of the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s. The results further confirm the literature that supports the use of AAC and written and pictorial cues in the form of a timeline that facilitates richer conversations between persons with aphasia and student clinicians.