Stuttering Holds Workers Back, Survey Shows

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 6, 2006) — A newly released survey by Professor Marshall Rice of the Schulich School of Business at York University, Toronto, found 51 percent of respondents — all of whom stutter — believe they would have a better job if they didn’t have the disorder.

Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement: “I believe my capabilities, at times, have been misjudged by my supervisors because of my stuttering.”

“The results point to the need to further educate employers about stuttering,” Dr. Rice said. “Clearly, some employers do not understand stuttering and make incorrect assumptions about the abilities of their employees who stutter. This misunderstanding results in reduced employment and promotion opportunities.”

“This survey indicates it is more important than ever for us to focus our efforts on informing the public about stuttering,” said Jane Fraser, president of the 59-year-old nonprofit Stuttering Foundation.

For this reason, the foundation offers an updated brochure, Stuttering: Answers for Employers. “This useful tool should be in the hands of everyone going into a job interview,” Fraser said. Download the brochure. 

The survey of 566 people who stutter from 37 countries also found 42 percent felt a job interview was “cut short.” Fourteen percent said an employer told them directly that they would not be hired for a position because of their stuttering. Sixty-one percent agreed with the statement, “I feel I have to be ‘better’ than fluent speakers in order to have the same opportunities for employment.” The largest number of responses came from the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and India.

Editors:  Dr. Marshall Rice of the Schulich School of Business at York University can be reached at 416-650-8241 or