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The Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement (SCALE) Program

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a language disorder that commonly occurs after a stroke or brain injury. Aphasia affects an individual's receptive language abilities, including reading or comprehension, and/or expressive language abilities including, speaking, writing, or typing. An individual's aphasia and communication skills may improve using speech therapy, compensatory strategies, and technology. 



1 in 6 people will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime.

At least one third of all stroke survivors are diagnosed with aphasia.

More than 2 million Americans are currently living with aphasia.

Aphasia affects every person differently.

The Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement (SCALE) Aphasia Program at The League for People with Disabilities improves the quality of life for adults living with aphasia and their families by:

  • Providing individuals with aphasia a place and community to connect
  • Offering in-person and virtual interactive group activities designed to support and empower aphasia members as they re-engage in their community
  • Providing educational materials, training, and support for family members who have a loved one with aphasia
  • raising public awareness and understanding of aphasia through community outreach and advocacy projects

Founded in July of 2008, The League's SCALE was named in honor of the contributions of the Snyder Family of Baltimore. The SCALE Aphasia Program merged with The League for People with Disabilities in November 2014, and remains the Baltimore Metropolitan Area’s only dedicated aphasia community treatment center. The League utilizes the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) model. LPAA Core Values include:

  • An explicit goal is to enhance one’s overall life participation. 
  • Offering services to all individuals with aphasia. 
  • Measure success by documenting life enhancement changes.
  • Intervention aims at addressing both individual and environmental factors. 
  • Ensuring there are services available throughout all stages for those living with aphasia. 

 At The League’s SCALE PROGRAM, aphasia survivors are recognized as our experts. Staff empower these individuals to co-train future healthcare professionals. SCALE is an active, interdisciplinary education and training center engaging academic and medical community partners. Current academic partnerships include:

  • Johns Hopkins University
    • Cognitive Neuroscience Department
    • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Resident Training
  • Loyola University:
    • Speech Language Pathology Masters Program
  • Towson University
    • Speech Language Pathology Masters Program
    • Occupational Therapy Masters Program
    • Occupational Therapy Clinical Doctoral Program

Meet our staff

Lisa Thornburg, MS, CCC-SLP

Director, MS Day & SCALE Program

Hrisoula Mavrophilipos, MS, CCC-SLP

Manager, SCALE Program

Jessica Hutchison, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, SCALE Program

Michelle Washington

Case Manager, SCALE Program

Judy Crane

Stroke Peer Mentor, SCALE Program


SCALE offers virtual and in-person communication-focused groups, such as language skills like reading, writing, and conversations led by licensed speech language pathologists. In addition, we offer leisure-based groups for individuals with aphasia such as art and movement/exercise. Additional groups are led by student interns and trained volunteers. Caregiver resources include support groups, guest speakers, and a library of resources specifically designed for individuals with aphasia and their families.

Funding sources for services include:
  • Medical Assistance
  • Self-pay (Scholarship support may be available)
  • Veterans Administration

If you would like to make a donation to benefit The League’s SCALE Aphasia Program or help fund a SCALE member's scholarship, please click here to explore The League’s Ways to Give section of our website. If you wish to allocate your donation specifically to The League’s SCALE Aphasia Program, kindly indicate so at the time of making your donation. 

Members and Membership Requirements

  • ​Services are offered to adults who are diagnosed with aphasia. Our current members range in age from 25-81 years old and have been living with aphasia for anywhere between 2-20 years.
  • ​SCALE members attending in-person classes must be able to use the restroom and move to classes independently or be accompanied by a caregiver.
  • SCALE applicants should not be disoriented, confused, or have significant memory impairments; they must be able to sustain adequate alertness/attention in group activities for over an hour.
  • SCALE applicants must not demonstrate behaviors that are disruptive or offensive to other members/staff.​
  • ​Families and caregivers cannot attend classes with members.

Aphasia Resource Links

Contact Information

  • Michelle Washington, Case Manager, [email protected]
  • Hrisoula Mavrophilipos, MS, CCC-SLP, Manager & Speech-Language Pathologist, [email protected], Office: 410.323.1777 x502
  • Lisa Thornburg, MS, CCC-SLP, Director & Speech-Language Pathologist, [email protected], Office: 410.323.1777 x501
  • Fax: 443.279.6907

8806 Orchard Tree Lane, Towson, MD 21286

Aphasia FAQs