Spartan Aphasia Research Clinic (SPARC)

Spartan Aphasia Research Clinic

2017 SPARC Launch Team: Professor Nidhi Mahendra (Founder and Director), Dana Albrecht (KACCD Director), & Graduate Student Clinicians

The Spartan Aphasia Research Clinic (SPARC) was founded in June 2017 and is a part of the Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences. SPARC is modeled on the Life Participation Approach for Aphasia (LPAA), which centers the rights of persons with aphasia to communicate, engage actively, and to be included in all life roles and contexts. 

SPARC integrates three priorities for providing individual and group aphasia therapy, advancing clinical research on evidence-based aphasia assessment and intervention, and investing in training future speech-language pathologists. SPARC brings LPAA to life through a rich combination of individual evidence-based therapy, varied aphasia groups, client-centered clinical research, and organizing community-based aphasia awareness and advocacy events. 


  • Nidhi Mahendra, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (Founder & Director)
  • Anita Schaack, MS, CCC-SLP 
  • Cindy Esquivias, MS, CCC-SLP 
  • Amanda Olson, MS, CCC-SLP 
  • Theo Tran (Graduate Research Assistant)
  • Aminah Sheikh (Graduate Research Assistant)

SPARC's Aphasia Groups

  • Aphasia Choir
    • View featured research (Mahendra et al., 2020) from our aphasia choir here
  • Aphasia Book Club
  • Gaming Group
  • Everyday Technology for Aphasia Care 
  • Discourse Groups
  • Adapted Virtual Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programming (AVICAP)

Media Spotlight on SPARC and Aphasia

Funding Support

  • El Camino Hospital and Healthcare District 
  • Mary and Gary West Foundation
  • Philanthropic Gifts (Jindia family)
  • Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders (KACCD)

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