We chat with the Strath Speechies society to talk about Stammer Awareness Day this year. Check out the chat below!
I’m Hannah, a fourth year Speech and Language Therapy student and president of the Strath Speechies society.
What is Strath Speechies?
We’re a society formed mostly of Speech and Language Therapy students from the University of Strathclyde. Any student is more than welcome to join and attend our awareness campaigns and socials. We are dedicated to offering peer support to fellow students as they complete their degree as well as raising awareness for the wide variety of clients that we work with.
Given that we work with people of all ages we are trained to support a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. This might be helping children to produce particular sounds, supporting an individual post-stroke to use different ways to communicate, developing effective voice projection for the classroom with a teacher or working with a person who stammers as they find their voice and confidence to communicate, to name a few examples.
What is stammer awareness day?
International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) is an annual event taking place on the 22nd of October. The campaign is to support those who stammer, give an opportunity to connect with one another and raise awareness of stammering internationally.
There is a large online movement, particularly on Twitter, focusing on the empowerment of people who stammer. This allows them to share their own lived experiences.
How can we help?
We want Strathclyde students who stammer to know that NHS speech and language therapy services and the Scottish Stammering Network are good sources of support.
Do also look out for an online survey coming soon that will help us understand how stammering impacts on University studies. This is being led by four final year Psychology students and it’s great that students who stammer are being asked to share their experiences of stammering during their time at Strathclyde so the right kind of support can be provided.
If you don’t stammer we can all help by engaging with the current ISAD online conversation (@stammer on twitter would be a good place to start) and using this to influence our daily actions – this may be taking the time to hear and value every speaker’s contribution to your conversations or making the conscious decision to not interrupt an individual who stammers.
The best way to learn is to listen to the lived experiences of people who do stammer. This can be a powerful experience and can really help to understand both the challenges faced by those people and how these adversities can be overcome.