Approximately 70 million people around the world stutter. Stuttering, or stammering, is defined as a disorder that interrupts the ‘normal’ fluency and flow of speech.
While a majority of this population is made up of children, stuttering affects around one percent of adults in the world.
The stigma of stuttering often causes insecurity for those it affects, especially the adult population — that’s what STAMMA is working to change.
Scientists believe that stuttering is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, language development, environment, as well as brain structure and function.
It’s commonly seen as a communication barrier, one that’s led people who stutter to be stigmatized by society.
Representation of stuttering has largely been done in offensive and mocking tones, making targets out of those who stutter.
According to their website, STAMMA’s mission is to “tackle the underlying stereotypes and misunderstandings held by the public about stammering,” to create a world in which people with stutters can be treated with the same respect and consideration as those without. spearheaded by the CEO of the organization, Jane Powell.
Jane explained that STAMMA will be implemented into society through four steps:
- Supporting more people who stammer
- Building community support and facilitating stammering networks
- Educating the public on stammering
- Managing STAMMA efficiently and effectively.
The organization also endorses a list of five values that are the driving force of its mission: collaboration, community, individual, diversity, and openness. Their mission and values are then used to take action.
STAMMA has created campaigns such as No Diversity Without Disfluency, which aims to fight for the representation of people who stutter.
They imagine a world where people who stutter can hear voices like theirs on television, radio, and other media platforms, while non-stutterers are used to hearing the voices of those who stutter.
The No Diversity Without Disfluency campaign aims to create a world where stuttering is normalized in every capacity.
You can sign their petition to help ensure representation in media.
How To Get Involved With STAMMA
There are also ways to get involved and work with STAMMA to help end the stigma of stuttering.
You can fill out a volunteer form to join the team and work closely on their campaigns and programs, or become a member to hear about news within the stammering community, meet other folks who stutter, and help shape the future STAMMA.
The experiences of those who stutter deserve to be heard and seen, especially by those who don’t. When we can learn to empathize with our community members, we can do better at meeting their needs.
This article was originally published in The Goodnewspaper.