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The Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement (SCALE) Program

What is Aphasia?

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



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 improves the quality of life for adults living with aphasia and their families by:

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

Founded in July of 2008, 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 of 2014, and remains the Baltimore Metropolitan Area’s only dedicated aphasia community treatment center that utilizes the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) model. LPAA Core Values include:

  • Explicit goal is enhancement of life participation
  • All those affected by aphasia are entitled to service
  • Measures of success include documented life enhancement changes
  • Both personal and environmental factors are targets of intervention
  • Emphasis is on the availability of services as needed at all stages of aphasia

At SCALE, survivors are recognized as the experts living with aphasia. Staff empower them 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

Meredith Joyce, 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, reading, writing, and conversation led by licensed speech language pathologists, as well as leisure-based groups 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 would like to designate your gift to The League’s SCALE Aphasia Program, please note that when you make your donation.


  • ​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 between 2 to 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 to group activities for over an hour.
  • SCALE applicants must not demonstrate behaviors that are disruptive or offensive to other members/staff.​
  • ​Families and caregivers do not attend classes with members.

Aphasia Resource Links

Contact Information

  • Hrisoula Mavrophilipos, MS, CCC-SLP, Manager & Speech-Language Pathologist, [email protected], Office: 410.323.1777 x501
  • 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