Allan Tyrer, BSA webmaster

Allan with mountain behind, in Lake District.I'm in charge of the BSA website, which is an important resource for stammering both in the UK and internationally.

As well as being a first stop for impartial information and support (including the Help and Information section), something I particularly like about the website is our Speaking Out articles. Here people who stammer talk about their experiences, eg what helps, different types of therapy, the jobs they do, and likewise others such as parents, therapists and researchers share their experiences or expertise.

Me and BSA

I have a stammer myself, and have been involved in the BSA since the mid-90s, when I started going along to the London stammering socials. These used to happen every Sunday, and there I met my partner Christine who also stammers.

At that time I was a solicitor, a corporate tax partner in a City law firm (with a pretty overt stammer!). With my legal background the first volunteering I did at BSA was as a member of a constitutional sub-committee. I was involved in some further projects led by Christine - an employment working party, a London Open Day with an employment theme, and an international stammering 'Walk and Talk around the World' for which I did my first website.

In 1999 I created a personal website on how the Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equality Act) applies to stammering - Later that year the BSA Vice Chair Nick Conrad - now sadly deceased - suggested I talk to BSA about volunteering, and in 2000 I became the volunteer in charge of the BSA website. From late 2007 I was Speaking Out editor for some years (my first paid staff post), and in 2011/12 created funded by the Communication Forum - on disability discrimination law but including communication impairments other than stammering.

I'm now the part-time BSA webmaster (as a staff member). An important part of the job has been working with our web agency to shift the BSA website over from its old-fashioned 'static html' to a more modern system based on 'Drupal'. After a lot of hard work by all concerned, the new revamped website launched at the end of March 2014. The new site is much more interactive - for example you can comment below most pages - and also makes it much easier for BSA staff to add content directly. There's still quite a bit of work to do though in getting content over from the old site. We'll also be developing new content and further developing the site itself, and BSA as an organisation is getting used to the new possibilities of staff being able to post directly online.

June 2014