22 October 2022
The RCSLT signs international declaration on stammering and publishes a special edition podcast on International Stammering Awareness Day
Declaration on the Right to Stutter
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is marking International Stammering Awareness Day by joining over 70 organisations around the globe calling for the ‘Right to Stutter‘.
The Declaration reads in full:
“We, the undersigned, declare that people who stutter should be accepted as having a stutter. We may, or may not, choose to find support to sound fluent or stutter less. That is our right. It is not reasonable to expect or insist that we sound fluent. We stutter. That is how we talk.
In this time of diversity, adjustments are too often not given to those who stutter, be it at work, education or using everyday services. The expectation is rather that we should strive to ‘overcome’ our stutter and speak differently. As individuals we may wish, and even try, to do so. But as a community we refute the idea that we all stop stuttering.
No organization can claim to value equality or diversity unless stuttering voices are permitted and valued. We call upon every organization and institution to work with people who stutter to make sure that all of us are given the respect every person deserves; and that space is made for us.
It is our right to speak as we do.”
UK-based organisations who have signed the Declaration along with the RCSLT include STAMMA and Action for Stammering Children, two of our leading charity partners.
Stammering: time for a radical rethink?
The RCSLT has also published a special International Stammering Awareness Day podcast: Stammering: time for a radical rethink?, now available on Soundcloud.
The panel of speakers discuss why it’s important to reframe how society views stammering: moving from thinking of stammering as a problem to be solved, to one that celebrates and takes pride in difference.
We are very grateful to Dr Patrick Campbell, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kirsten Howells, Support Services Manager, Programme Lead for Adults, STAMMA, and Jennifer Roche, Senior SLT and lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, for taking part in the podcast and sharing their views and experiences.