For Immediate Release
Contact: Greg Wilson
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (February 1, 2016) — The Stuttering Foundation today announced the creation of a free identification card available to all those who stutter. It is designed to help them identify themselves in a nonverbal way as someone who may have trouble speaking. The ID card is available in two downloadable formats on the Foundation’s website at www.StutteringHelp.org.
“We hope our free ‘I Stutter Card’ finds a place in the wallet, purse or backpack of every person who stutters,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “It is designed to help people educate those who are not familiar with this complex disorder.”
The card was designed in response to a recent incident involving Kylah Simmons, a U.S. citizen returning home through the Atlanta airport after studying abroad. According to media reports, Ms. Simmons, a person who stutters, was questioned repeated about her stutter by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent. According to reports, Ms. Simmons was repeatedly told by the agent that she was “lying” about her stutter.
“I looked him in the eyes and explained to him that my disability was not a problem but was simply a personal challenge for me that makes it difficult for me to communicate… I was continuously told that I was lying and that I was being dishonest. All my life, I have been bullied and silenced because of my stutter. I felt silenced today,” said Ms. Simmons.
Ms. Simmons worked with the Foundation to make the card available to the 70 million people worldwide who stutter.
“When questioned by someone in authority, we all may have difficulty maintaining our fluency. For someone who stutters, it can be a much greater challenge. We hope this tool will make a difference,” added Fraser.
Foundation Spokesperson Jane Fraser
Jane Fraser is president of The Stuttering Foundation and co-author of If Your Child Stutters: A Guide for Parents, 8th edition. She is also vice president of the Action for Stammering Children, Michael Palin Centre, London.
About the Stuttering Foundation
Malcolm Fraser, a successful businessman and stutterer, established and endowed the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation in 1947. The Stuttering Foundation provides a toll-free helpline, 800-992-9392, and free online resources on its Website, www.StutteringHelp.org, including services, referrals and support to people who stutter and their families, as well as support for research into the causes of stuttering.
The Stuttering Foundation offers 6 tips for speaking with someone who stutters on its website.