Friday 18th October, 2019, London, UK – To mark International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) on Tuesday, 22nd October, the British Stammering Association (BSA) is asking those who stammer to use #Istammer on social media and show the world, especially young people who stammer, that having a stammer should not be a barrier to ambition. People who stammer from across the UK are being asked to share their job titles, interests, skills and achievements. Those following the #Istammer hashtag include BSA Patrons Ed Balls, Scroobius Pip and Jon Smith.
The British Stammering Association will also be marking ISAD with:
Distraction Pieces Podcast - On Monday, 21st
October, BSA Patron Scroobius Pip
will release a special episode of his renowned podcast, Distraction Pieces. Pip talks to novelist, poet and playwright Owen Sheers, actor George Fletcher and BSA member Natalie Mortimer about their experiences of stammering.
Twitter Takeover - BSA Trustees Gillian Rudd and Abed Ahmed will take over the Neville Southall’s twitter account of (@NevilleSouthall) on Monday, 21st October between 7 and 9pm. Gillian and Abed will answer questions and share information on stammering to Neville’s 151,000 followers.
Scroobius Pip Instagram Takeover. On 22nd October, Scroobius Pip will take over the BSA’s Instagram account (@stammaUK) for an Instagram Live between 10- 10:30am. Pip will then answer questions anyone may have about stammering throughout the day.
A full list of ISAD activities happening across the UK is available at the BSA website: stamma.org.
“The stigma around stammering and the portrayals of those who stammer in the media can leave people feeling frustrated, ashamed and worried about achieving any kind of life. On International Stammering Awareness Day we want those who stammer to understand that there is no career they cannot follow nor should they ever need to apologise for stammering,” said Jane Powell, CEO the British Stammering Association. “Whether its teaching, acting, working in the forces, broadcasting or in politics – we’ve even got a weapons controller. By tweeting #Istammer those that stammer can show that they are so much more than their speech and inspire others to pursue their dreams.”
A YouGov survey carried out on behalf of the BSA showed that a shocking 1 in 4 people in the UK feel comfortable with jokes about stammering while over half mistakenly believed that stammering was caused by anxiety*. 99% of BSA members surveyed had felt ashamed of stammering. 60% had been bullied because of it, 57% said it had impacted their career and 15% felt suicidal.**
For more information, images or interviews, please contact:
Kate Dickson, Communications Director, the British Stammering Association
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2012 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th - 7th November 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Q1: On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is "Extremely uncomfortable" and 10 is "Extremely comfortable"...In general, how comfortable or uncomfortable would you feel if someone made a joke about stammering or stuttering? (Please the option that comes closest) Net 27%, ‘comfortable’ 6-10)
Q6: Which, if any, of the following do you think are causes of someone stammering or stuttering? (Please select all that apply): Having a social anxiety 51%; Nervous personality 49%; a learning disability 14%.
Feb 2019 - June 2019, 260 responses.
Q2. Do you ever feel ashamed of your stammer? Often 32.31%; Sometimes 35.38%; Rarely 5%; I used to but I no longer feel ashamed of my stammer 26.15%; Never 1.15%.
Q10. Have you ever been bullied because of your stammer? Yes - As a child I was bullied because of my stammer 44.23%; Yes - As an adult I have been bullied because of my stammer 5.38%; Yes - As a child AND as an adult I have been bullied because of my stammer 11.15%; No - I have never been bullied because of my stammer 39.23%
Q3. Has having a stammer affected your choice of career? Yes 56.54%; No 38.46%; N/A 5%
Q15. Has the way in which people have reacted to your stammer ever left you feeling in any of the following ways (tick all that apply)? Frustrated 89.23%; Angry 65.38%; Patronised 62.69%; Anxious 65%; Depressed 59.23%; Invisible 41.54%; Not listened to 67.69%; Alone 50.77%; Awkward 78.46%; Suicidal 14.62%; N/A 1.15%.
A stammer is an intense struggle to physically get words out; this is profoundly different from the usual hesitations and repetitions most people experience. Research suggests that 8% of children will stammer at some point with up 1.5 million (3%) UK adults reporting that they have a stammer. Stammering is a neurological condition which usually arises during the development of the brain in childhood. Stammering is frequently hereditary and if it continues into adulthood, will mainly affect men. In adulthood, people may learn to ‘manage’ their stammer, but there is no cure. Often the hardest word someone who stammers struggles with is their name.
Because of the stigma around stammering many ‘hide’ their stammer by swapping words, avoiding situations, not saying what they want to say and keeping their stammer secret from employers, close friends and loved ones. This is known as covert or interiorised stammering.
People who stammer/have stammered include: Winston Churchill, Philip Larkin, Dame Margaret Drabble, Henry James, Aldous Huxley, Alan Turing, Owen Sheers, Ed Sheeran, Emily Blunt, Nicholas Parsons, Elvis Presley, Bruce Willis, Tiger Woods and Marilyn Monroe.
About the British Stammering Association
Founded in 1978, the British Stammering Association is a national registered charity dedicated to creating a better world for people who stammer. Through its website (stamma.org), helpline and backing of local meetup and self-help groups, the British Stammering Association provides information and support for people who stammer. It is a membership organisation with members taking an active role in the election of trustees and the strategic direction of the charity. Registered Charity Numbers 1089967/SC038866. Find out more at stamma.org
About International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) 22nd October
International Stuttering Awareness day (ISAD) began in 1998 and recognizes the growing alliance between speech-language professionals and those who stammer. ISAD provides an opportunity for those who stammer to share their experience and support each other and for those who do not stammer to learn more about stammering and its impact.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The British Stammering Association trading as Stamma, on Thursday 14 November, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/