Public figures and stammering

Recently a TISA member was criticised by colleagues for mentioning stammering, while writing a post on Swapnil Asnodkar. TISA sees nothing shameful about stammering, in public or in private. Infact, when a PWS makes good, we only want to congratulate him and celebrate his acheivement, to emphasise in a way, that inspite of negative social attitudes people who stammer (pws) can achieve excellence.
We think that more and more celebrities should accept and talk about stammering from public platforms, so that young people in particular and society in general, develops more acceptance of a condition for which there is no long term cure.
Just to cite an example from another society, please see how a public debate started in UK when a reporter used mockingly “Bbbball” in print for a politician, Mr Ed Ball, refering to his stammering. Here is a letter from BSA:

“Dear Sir/Madam

I write with regard to the Comment published in today’s Telegraph by Liz Hunt.

Ms Hunt comments on Ed Balls’ ‘tear-jerking’ interview about his life-long struggle with stammering. We here at the British Stammering Association were delighted that Mr Balls publicly commented on his struggle to speak. Stammering affects almost half a million adults in the UK. Far too often, it is hidden and silent as people do not wish to be associated with it in public, often because they see it as something shameful.

This is no doubt due to attitudes to stammering demonstrated by Ms Hunt’s “Bbbballs” outburst, something which is all too reminiscent of, and on a similar intellectual level as, much of the school yard bullying that children who stammer still experience daily. I wonder if Ms Hunt is just as keen to mock other disabilities – how about people with cerebral palsy in wheelchairs: are they, too, fair game for Ms Hunt’s pen?

We thank Ed Balls for his courage in standing up to such taunts; and for showing us that stammering is no bar to communication – just as fluent speech, or access to a keyboard, does not necessarily equate to good communication skills.

Norbert Lieckfeldt
Chief Executive
British Stammering Association”

To read more about it see

1 Comment

Comments are closed.

  1. admin 9 years ago

    I fully support this stand by TISA…

    when society changes the attitude towards this problem… it will no longer be a problem


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