International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) happens on 22nd October every year. Stammering associations, individuals and groups around the world organise events to mark the day and to raise awareness of stuttering.
International Stammering Awareness Day is a great opportunity to talk to the general public about stammering. Only by talking openly about stammering will we gradually remove the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding it. And there’s an additional benefit to us as well – talking about it is therapeutic in its own right!
All of us can help in some way to get the important messages across.
But how do we go about it? And what do we say? Go to Use ISAD to talk about stammering, where you can also download our new Talking about stammering poster.
ISAD online conference
This year's theme was Stuttering Pride: Respect, Dignity, Recognition.
Papers include stories and experiences with stuttering, research, therapy and support, and creative expression. Contributors include Kylah Simmons whose detention at Atlanta airport because of her stammer was much publicised and led to an 'I stutter' card, Grant Meredith from Australia ('Fostering a culture of pride') who was a keynote speaker at BSA's conference in Manchester this year, and BSA trustee Patrick Campbell who, with Sam Simpson and Christopher Constantinou, has written a paper 'Revisioning stammering through art'.
Video: What is it like to stammer?
Four under 16-year-olds explain what it feels like to have a stammer and how they cope with it: What is it like to stammer?
We also have a page People who stammer speak for themselves which includes a video with adults who stammer, and an article.
What is stammering?
Hard to define, even though everyone knows it when they hear it. What we do know is what impact it can have, what help is out there, and we're beginning to learn what's causing it: What is stammering?
Wear a Stammering Awareness Wristband (available from BSA). You can use it as a conversation starter.
You can use sea green to mark International Stammering Awareness Day on 22nd October, or to raise awareness of stammering at any time. Other possibilities as well as a wrist band:
- change your Facebook or Twitter profile picture to show our 'Talk about stammering' poster, or to a sea green ribbon (download ribbon jpg image);
- add a twibbon to your existing Facebook or twitter profile picture http://twibbon.com/support/stammering-awareness-day-2 ;
- wear a sea green ribbon, or sea green clothes.
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. These are reflected in the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities of People who Stutter (link to ISA website).
"Remember to wear Sea Green clothes or ribbon on October 22nd to raise awareness about stuttering and the issues people who stutter face everyday."
Some other ideas for ISAD
- Tweet about ISAD, and update your Facebook status on the day. See above Going green for ISAD for Facebook images you can use.
- Talk to your local media - local newspapers, local BBC or other radio stations - Use ISAD to talk about stammering.
- Talk about stammering to someone. Maybe introduce yourself as someone who stammers when making phone calls.
- Create your own YouTube video of yourself talking about your stammer and upload it onto the Closed BSA Facebook group.
- Give a talk on stammering at a public speaking club, rotary club, etc. Join the BSA 'Speaking Out' team to learn more about how to do this, and see Use ISAD to talk about stammering.
- In 2013 therapists at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust sent a letter to all GPs in the area, with testimonials from children and adults who had accessed the service within the last year: Letter from Airedale therapists to all GPs in the area.
- Print-off information from our website to show friends, family, colleagues, etc, for example advice for people who don't stammer on talking to someone who does (In Conversation with a person who stammers).
- Join the BSA telephone link scheme, or other internet lists.
- Ask the BSA office for some helpline posters and put them in your local libraries, community centres or GPs surgeries.
And last year Kane (10) created this fantastic information sheet to take to his school for an ISAD event - please feel free to share!
Why not tell us what your doing on our Facebook group.