Irish Stammering Association is curating a week of online events to celebrate International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD, 22nd October). Starting on Thursday 15th October, its online talks and support groups will feature a range of speakers giving information, supports and useful ideas on how people can reduce the negative impact that stammering can have.
Around 5% of children will stammer; a condition characterised by sound repetitions, prolongations and blocks in its early stages. Stammering will resolve in some children but around 1% of adults continue to stammer. Stammering can lead to avoidance of speaking situations, embarrassment, frustration and people not fulfilling their potential; whatever their age.
As part of ISAD week, our annual National Stammering Awareness Day moves online for the first time. This year will be a condensed version featuring talks from David Heney (ISA Chair), Georgina Dunlevy (ISA Employment Support), Callum Wells (Speech and Language Therapist), Martina Ross (Irish McGuire Programme) as well as Michael O’Shea (‘Why I called my sister Harry’ author) who cofounded the first awareness day in 2007.
The theme for ISAD 2020 is ‘Journey of Words; resilience and bouncing back’. Guest speakers will reflect on what has been a challenging year for many people who stammer. See below for the schedule of events.
Irish Stammering Association Chairman David Heney says ‘Creating a week of online events around International Stuttering Awareness Day provides an opportunity for the ISA to showcase the range of supports that we offer to children, teenagers and adults who stammer, as well as friends, family and employers. These supports can be life changing and we believe that stammering does not have to hold you back.’
All events are free to attend and all are welcome… people who stammer, family members, friends, and professionals who work with stammering.
Stamma (the UK's national charity for stammering) launches a new campaign, created by VMLY&R and in collaboration with Wikipedia, to change the public’s perception on stammering. ‘Find The Right Words’ aims to start a new conversation around harmful biased language, one which has never before entered the public eye when it comes to stammering.
Stamma teamed up with international counterparts in the National Stuttering Association in the USA, the Canadian Stuttering Association, the Australian Speak Easy Association, and the Irish Stammering Association to give this message a truly global reach
Approximately 1% of adults stammer, yet the condition is commonly misunderstood, and people who stammer are often perceived as ‘weaker’, ‘less confident’ and ‘less able’. While these characterisations are usually unconscious, they can profoundly affect the lives of people who stammer from careers, to social lives and mental well-being. This bias also infects the language used to describe the condition, as well as their lives and accomplishments.
Working closely with the community at Wikipedia, Stamma & VMLY&R systematically located and edited any misleading language used on the platform to describe those who stammer. These included historical entries like that of Lewis Carrol, but also household names of today such as Ed Sheeran and Emily Blunt.
By changing the language on the world’s biggest encyclopedia, ‘Find The Right Words’ aims to create a lasting change, inspiring everyone to think and speak differently when talking about a person who stammers.