Individuals with aphasia, an acquired communication disorder, constantly struggle against a world that does not understand them. This lack of empathy and understanding negatively impacts their quality of life. While aphasic individuals may appear to have lost cognitive functioning, their impairment relates to receptive and expressive language, not to thinking processes. We introduce a novel system and model, Aphasia Characteristics Emulation Software (ACES), enabling users (e.g., caregivers, speech therapists and family) to experience, firsthand, the communication-distorting effects of aphasia. By allowing neurologically typical individuals to "walk in another's shoes," we aim to increase patience, awareness and understanding. ACES was grounded in the communication science and psychological literature, and informed by an initial pilot study. Results from an evaluation of 64 participants indicate that ACES provides a rich experience that increases understanding and empathy for aphasia.