International Stuttering Awareness Day today

Hello and welcome! It’s International Stuttering Awareness Day today. You can find the background on this event here at the ISAD page. I posted this before, but it’s worth repeating — here’s a link to all the older ISAD online conferences.

What I wanted to do for today is round up a few articles and stories regarding stuttering. This will be a bit more than I usually do for a link roundup.

First with some blogs:

Pam at Make Room for the Stuttering is still busy doing interviews and podcasts. Here is her submission for the International Stuttering Awareness Day Online Conference.

Here’s a new blog from someone who stutters, Mark Nolan. He’s posted quite the story about getting stuck on a word.

Second with some conferences:

Outside the US, there were some Stuttering-related events that recently took place. One was the National Stammering Awareness Day 2014 (Ireland). There’s a fantastic write up on the event here.

The next speaker was Conor Tiernan who has recently shaken off his covert cloak to embrace his stammer. I enjoyed Conor’s speech more than any other because his story was my story. His story was our story. His story was honest and raw and it came from his heart. Every single listener sunk into his or her seat as Conor explained his journey from never wanting to accept his stammer to finally admitting that his stammer would be with him forever.

The Indian Stammering Association had their Annual Conference earlier this month, and here’s a detailed summary of the events.

Here’s their blog post from today that really makes me think about what I’m doing with the fluent words in my speech:

When I analysed my recorded conversations, I found that at non problematic words I was unable to pronounce words as it should be, let alone the stuttered words, so it further complicates the already fractured speech to the listener.

Thirdly, the organizations:

The British Stammering Association has a lengthy page regarding today.

I’m still learning a lot about the Stuttering community, and so I should probably get a green wristband at some point — from the BSA’s page:

Why sea green for stammering awareness? Michael Sugarman who founded ISAD writes:
“The color ‘blue’ has traditionally been associated with calm while ‘green’ represents liberty, freedom and justice. The combination of these colors for People who Stutter shows the bond between ‘peace’ and ‘liberation’ when finding support and community with other people who understand and share their experiences.

A few articles about the day:

From the Poconos, here’s a story about a young man helping to raise awareness.

“When I was in high school I was very covert about my stuttering. Actually, even up until a few years ago I used to pretty much hide it and I was very good about hiding it,” said Stavros Ladeas, a 1999 graduate of Stroudsburg High School who’s now a web developer in New York and the chapter leader of the Midtown Manhattan National Stuttering Association.

Here’s a story that came out about a week ago regarding a Kiwi who used to stutter. He’s apparently worked through it and has done very well.

“I have a huge amount of empathy for other people who stutter. I look forward to sharing my experiences with people and telling them how I got through this,” he says, adding that he hopes to inspire others to believe “you too can go on to do great things”.

Also from Australia, teachers are being informed of possible stuttering in students.

“This is maybe the fourth time we’ve held this forum and the idea is to alert student teachers to the fact that they might have children in their class who stutter and they are just not aware of it. Treating school-aged children requires special sensitivity, so it’s critical to regularly host events like this to build awareness and help ensure the next generation of teachers knows where to turn for help.”

(I find this rather fascinating, actually. I am curious what is done in the States for this if anything. I think when I was growing up, it was like, well, one teacher would identify a specific student, they’d get help, but then the others would only hear it through talk in the teacher’s lounge. Or maybe the guidance counselor made a special visit to say, my French teacher?)

The Canadian Stuttering Association is having a conference this month as well. Here’s what they had to say about surviving it …

Imagine you walk into a big conference room full of people. You suddenly start feeling anxious, excited, and a tiny bit scared all at the same time. You start contemplating turning around on your heels and heading back home, when all of a sudden you hear someone experiencing a block. But now what do you do as you stand there listening to everyone else’s conversations? Do you go up and talk to someone, or randomly join a group of people already chatting? What if you stutter on your name or experience an awfully long block?

That pretty much sums up my experience at the NSA Conference! Scared and anxious at first, but now I’m already planning for the next one (Chicago … July 4th weekend).

Alright, so that’s quite a few links from a lot of different places. There’s of course twitter, which has even more links and information. I’ll be going through that over the next few days for even more ideas. I think for now I’ll retweet a few things.

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