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Hands holding placard reading 'No Diversity Without Disfluency'
Hands holding placard reading 'No Diversity Without Disfluency'

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On International Stammering Awareness Day STAMMA have signed a declaration calling for the Right to Stutter, now signed by 61 organisations across the world.

The Declaration states “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”.

CEO of STAMMA Jane Powell said “On the 22nd October we face the usual struggle of trying to get our message out - in the face of stories churned out by the media about how people have 'overcome' their stutter. This is the wrong story at the wrong time. We need to focus on why there isn't space given for people who stammer, as a basic right. Stammering is how some people talk. Stories of 'overcoming' are profoundly depressing, they reinforce the message that stammering is wrong, which it isn't, and that anyone can learn to talk without a stammer, which they can't."

STAMMA suggest instead that the focus should be about why there isn't space, tolerance or acceptance of stammering in our society; on our televisions, at school, in the workplace or socially. Stammering isn't routinely asked about when it comes to disability, there aren't adjustments made for those people who can't ring for a GP appointment or a cab without the phone being slammed down. Students aren't given alternatives or adjustments to oral exams.

International organisations representing people who stammer have signed the Declaration, alongside organisations from Italy, Ghana, Rwanda, Columbia, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Australia, Ecuador, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, India, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Nepal, Estonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Iran, Poland, Russia, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. The Declaration has also been translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, German, Hebrew, Nepalese, Persian, Polish, Russian and Spanish.

The Declaration in full reads:

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.

Signatories in full: -

50 Million Voices, International
Alborz Atra Speech Therapy Clinic, Iran
Asian Association for Stuttering Organizations, International
Asociación Argentina de Tartamudez, Argentina
Balbuzie allo Scoperto! – Supporto & Confronto, Italy
Belfast Stammer Support, Northern Ireland
BeneTalk, United Kingdom
BSV Belgian Stuttering Association, Belgium
Bulgarian Stuttering Association, Bulgaria
Bundesvereinigung Stottern & Selbsthilfe e.V., Germany
Canadian Stuttering Association, Canada
Centro Especializado en Tartamudez, Peru
CONTINUUM-TTM, Tartamudez Ecuador, Ecuador
Demosfen, Russia
Estonian Stuttering Association, Estonia
Fluir+ Abordaje Clínico de la Tartamudez, Chile & Latin America
Friends – The National Association of Young People Who Stutter, United States
Fundación Colombiana de Tartamudez, Colombia
Fundacja Centrum Logopedyczne, Poland
Fundacja Wspierania Mowy i Komunikacji HALO, Poland
Ghana Stammering Association, Ghana
Habla Libre, Peru
Hong Kong Stuttering Support Group, Hong Kong
Independent Practice for Speech Therapy, Belgium
International Stuttering Association, International
Israeli Stuttering Association, Israel
Jeanette van Baarsen Stottertherapie, The Netherlands
Myspeech, United States
National Stuttering Association, United States
Nederlandse stotter- en broddelvereniging Demosthenes, The Netherlands
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stottertherapie, The Netherlands
Nepal Stutters’ Association, Nepal
Newfoundland and Labrador Stuttering Association, Canada
Norsk interesseforening for stamming og løpsk tale, Norway
Pakistan Stammering Foundation, Pakistan
Portuguese Association of Stutterers, Portugal
Rwanda Stuttering Organisation, Rwanda
SAY Global, Pakistan
SAY: The Stuttering Association For The Young Australia, Australia
Schneider Speech, United States
Scottish Stammering Network, Scotland
Speakeasy South Africa, South Africa
Specialized Center for Stuttering, International
STAMMA, United Kingdom
Stammeforeningen i Danmark, Denmark
Stammerers Through University Consultancy, United Kingdom
Stamningsförbundet, Sweden
Stamurai, India
Stichting StotterFonds, The Netherlands
Stottercentrum Utrecht, The Netherlands
Stottertherapie In Verbinding, The Netherlands
Stuttering Awareness Mental Well-being Ireland, Ireland
Stuttering Society, Belgium
Suomen änkytysyhdistys ry, Finland
The Evolution and Voice Science Lab, United Kingdom
The Indian Stammering Association, India
Vereinigung für Stotternde und Angehörige, Switzerland
Voce InForma – Centro Vocologico Internazionale, Italy
withVR, International
World Stuttering Network, International

*In the UK the term used is ‘stammer’, for most of the rest of the world the term used is ‘stutter’. The words are interchangeable and mean the same thing. Stammering is when someone repeats, prolongs or gets stuck when trying to say sounds or words.




Jane Powell

Jane Powell

Press contact CEO +44 20 8983 1003
Neha Shaji

Neha Shaji

Press contact +442045824144 

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It's How We Talk

Founded in 1978, Stamma, the British Stammering Association is a national registered charity dedicated to creating a better world for people who stammer. Through its website:, helpline and backing of local meetup and self-help groups, the British Stammering Association provides information and support for people who stammer and those living, supporting or working with them. The BSA is a membership organisation with members taking an active role in the election of trustees and in the strategic direction of the charity.

Find out more at

Box 140, 43 Bedford Street
WC2E 9HA London
United Kingdom