The Comedian Who Almost Didn't Happen
Resources for the Stuttering Community
There are many organizations that help people who stutter. This list includes the ones mentioned in the book or that stress connection to community and self-acceptance. Although there are many organizations and speech therapists who've had success with stuttering people in terms of fluency, this is not that list. These organizations promote (at least in part) self-acceptance and community. I have put them in the order of my contact with them:
In the United States:
National Stuttering Association (formerly the National Stuttering Project): The NSA changed my life and continues to change my life as it has for so many others. Besides the yearly conference the first week of July, there are also regional support groups all over the country. NSA serves adults, children, teens and even has special programming at the conference for young adults. Speech and language professionals are also well served by the NSA through education and conference symposiums and workshops.
FRIENDS/ (who stutter): FRIENDS serves young people who stutter, their families and the professionals who serve them. They have a yearly conference as well as regional events.
Passing Twice: Passing Twice is a community of LGBTQ people who stutter and their allies. They hold workshops at stuttering conferences and connect with one another as a network between conferences.
American Institute on Stuttering: AIS serves people who stutter in a therapeutic capacity focusing on living well with a stutter and not on fluency. They offer tele-therapy as well as scholarships for these services.
SAY (The Stuttering Association of the Young): SAY has programing for children and teens who stutter including summer camps and after school programs. Their focus is on empowering children who stutter to embrace their voice.
The Stuttering Foundation: The Stuttering Foundation: The Stuttering Foundation is an organization that focuses on educating the public as well as speech and language therapists about stuttering. My favorite project of theirs was a response to Kylie Simmons detention in the Atlanta airport when stuttering her way through customs. She was detained and missed her connecting flight. Kylie and The Stuttering Foundation developed a card to flash in situations like these so authorities know you stutter and hopefully refrain from accusations of lying or suspicion. I always carry mine (if I can find it in my over packed wallet).
International Stuttering Association (ISA): The International Stuttering Association is an international association made up of national groups which is guided by a board of directors with the aim of helping others understand stuttering.
Irish Stammering Association (they are ISA too): ISA offers support groups across Ireland, summer camps for kids and all kinds of services. They also hold a conference once a year around International Stuttering (or as they call it Stammering) Awareness Day. They even had a comedy show that I was on with two other stammering comedians!
The Indian Stammering Association (TISA): TISA has conferences and many other services in many different Indian languages. One of my favorite things about TISA is that during a conference they marched the streets with a banner that read in Hindi “Haklao Magar Pyaar” which translates to "Stammer With Love.”
British Stammering Association: BSA educates, advocates and creates community for individuals who stammer. They have a very groovy mission statement that you should check out. They do some great work!
Canadian Stuttering Association: CSA is a resource to parents and educators that educates the public on stuttering and is a source of community for people who stutter.
Women Who Stutter-Our Stories: Pam Mertz has interviewed 170 women in 35 countries!
The podcast was created to offer women the space to share their unique voice. As Pam says, “everyone has a story to tell - they just need to be asked.”
StutterTalk: StutterTalk is hosted and lead by Peter Reitzes and is the longest running podcast on stuttering with over 600 shows. Many experts in speech and language therapy as well as other disciplines join Peter to talk all things stuttering.
Stuttering Is Cool: Stuttering is Cool is hosted by Daniele Rossi and covers all aspects of stuttering with a focus on self-acceptance. Daniele also creates wonderful cartoons, some of which have been published in his book Stuttering is Cool: A Guide to Stuttering in a Fast-Talking World.
Make sure to celebrate International Stuttering Awareness Day on October 22 and National Stuttering Awareness Week (in the United States) in the second week of May!
"Sometimes Dreams Don't Die--they become dormant
but you have to disrupt the interruptions."---Nina G