Stroke doesn’t stop brave student

The Guardsman

Sean Houlihan

Ever since she suffered a stroke in 2005, Azlynda Alim, a long-time student at City College, has been living with aphrasia, a disability that affects speech and cognitive skills.

Since that time, Alim has been taking courses in communications, acquired brain injury and art.

She says that by taking classes offered through the college’s Disabled Students Programs & Services, “I have gained more comfort and confidence to speak more and take on responsibilities which have me speaking with people I don’t know in unscripted situations.”
However, due to the current financial crisis, some programs and classes provided through DSPS are at risk of being cut in the fall, department chair Paul Johnson said.

Losing access to these classes may affect students like Alim.

“How will people with disabilities like I have get a chance to rehabilitate themselves the way I have been able to?” she asks.

“While hospitals have groups that work similar issues, they do not have the same sort of skill-building elements the DSPS programs have. The teachers are patient and skilled and give you practical strategies which develop your capabilities versus just teaching you about and discussing your disability.”

Alim has looked for similar classes in the Bay Area and says that none can compare with those offered by City College.

She predicts that, “my ongoing recovery will be lesser without the CCSF programs.”

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