OSU advocates mark International Stuttering Awareness Day

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The final 2020 presidential debate happens to fall on International Stuttering Awareness Day, the significance of which may come as a surprise.

Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden is among the one percent of the world’s population who has experienced the communication disorder.

“People who stutter work in a variety of different fields, at a variety of levels, some of the highest levels possible, including the vice president of the United States,” explained Bridget Chapman, a clinical assistant professor at Ohio State and the director of the Flaum Center for Fluency Disorders. “They’ve used their platforms to bring stuttering into a conversation I think most people haven’t had before.”

Chapman said she’s starting to see a wider acceptance and understanding about stuttering in recent years as it becomes part of the public consciousness.

“I think a misconception is that a person doesn’t know what they want to say or they may not be as intelligent as someone else or that they may be nervous or feel anxious,” she said.

According to the Stuttering Foundation, celebrities like James Earl Jones, Marilyn Monroe and Ed Sheeran all experienced stuttering in their lifetimes. Closer to home, the late Annie Glenn was regarded as a champion for the stuttering community as much as she was known for being the wife of astronaut John Glenn.

“Her courage in talking about her stutter, talking and being an advocate for people has resonated throughout our Ohio State community and the national community at large,” said Chapman.

To mark International Stuttering Awareness Day, the Flaum Center has been hosting virtual discussions and posting educational articles on social media. The public is also encouraged to participate in a virtual 5K walk or run.

You can connect on social media and see upcoming events by clicking here.

Click on the following links to learn about stuttering:

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