About the presenter: Judy Kuster, M.S. in speech-language pathology and M.S. in counseling, is a professor of Communication Disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is well-published in Internet resources and has presented at state, national and international conferences. She is the webmaster of the Stuttering Home Page as well as the coordinator of this online conference. She holds Specialty Recognition in Stuttering and is a member of the Division #4 Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She is a member of the National Stuttering Association, the International Fluency Association and the International Stuttering Association and was recently named to the National Stuttering Association Hall of Fame.
About the presenter: Michael Sugarman was co-founder of the National Stuttering Project (NSP) in 1977. He became the Executive Director of NSP 1978-1981 and again in 1995-1997. Published numerous articles on self help in academic journals and other publications. Named to the Stutterers Hall of Fame. Currently, Chair of International Fluency Association's Support Group and Consumer Affairs Committee. He writes: Thirty-two years I have enjoyed the company with adults/teens and children who stutter. I have had many memorable moments - one was to witness integration of children/teens who stutter and parents at a National Stuttering Association conference during 1990's. Awesome!

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2009.

International Stuttering Awareness Day: Consumers and Professionals Working Together

by Judith Kuster, Minnesota, USA and Michael Sugarman, California, USA


Different countries and cultures use different words to describe stuttering -- "Stammering" as the British call it, "begainment" as the French call it, the Zulu call it "amalimi", Hawaiians use "uu uus," it is called "yutamten" in the Arabic community and "Tid Aug" in Thailand. Whatever the word we use, stuttering is a unifying experience that brings together people from all parts of the world.

The impetus for International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) originated in the "consumer community" with support from the "professional community." The International Stuttering Association (ISA) developed a "wish list" at their conference in Linkogping, Sweden in 1995, which included an International Stuttering Awareness Day. At the International Fluency Association (IFA) conference in San Francisco, CA, USA, in August 1997, Friday was designated as "consumer day," a day set aside for the professional members of the IFA to learn from those who stutter and to recognize the alliance of professionals and consumers. On that Friday another step was taken when it was again suggested that there should be an international day for stuttering awareness to recognize the alliance of consumers and professionals in helping people who stutter. By May 1998 the IFA Board of Directors had approved an International Stuttering Awareness Day and gave Michael Sugarman responsibility for it. In July 1998, the ISA designated Sugarman as chair of the ISAD committee, and he became the primary organizer of International Stuttering Awareness Day. The date was established as October 22, 1998.

The stated purpose of International Stuttering Awareness Day is "to promote awareness and understanding and to show appreciation for people who stutter and the speech language professionals who work with them." When one considers the accomplishments of the first International Stuttering Awareness Day, pulled together in about one year's time, it is amazing to witness the dedication, creativity, and determination of the world-wide community of people affected by stuttering either personally and/or professionally working to accomplish that stated purpose.

The first ISAD was successfully launched in 1998. Since then, professionals and consumers around the world have worked together to bring information and support to persons who stutter, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

A special 5 minute slide presentation, documenting several ISAD events as well as other International Stuttering events was created for the 2006 International Fluency Association Conference.

You are invited to view this 258MB presentation HERE (If the movie stops, tapping the space bar may help).

Summaries of Additional Sample ISAD Events

For over a decade the stuttering community has joined together to educate persons living with stuttering, their families and professionals and to change the attitudes of the general public toward stuttering.

World wide International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD), October 22nd activities are held from Seoul, South Korea to Beijing, China, from London, England to Jerusalem, Israel, and from Doula, Cameroon to Oakland, California to look how to change the personal effects of stuttering and alleviate ignorance about and discrimination against PWS.

Successful events have taken place throughout the world, including important advances in supporting people who stutter in many countries where there had previously been no therapy or appropriate information about stuttering. Below are several examples of ISAD events.

1998 ISAD events held in Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Israel, South Africa, Korea, UK, and US are documented online (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad/papers/tds/isadannouncementstd98.html). Individuals and organizations around the world helped spread the word about the new ISAD. Several examples:

1999 ISAD events. The original announcements page for the 1999 online conference was accidentally deleted but the table of contents (http://web.archive.org/web/20010509114520/ documenting events held in Belgium, South Africa, Israel, Argentina, Canada, UK, Korea, Iceland, and the U.S. can still be found online listing many events such as these: 2000 ISAD events held in Venezuela, France, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Korea, Croatia, China, Austria, Argentina, and the U.S. are documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/3announcement/). In keeping with the ISAD focus on children that year, several events featured outreach for children who stutter and their parents, including these: 2001 ISAD events held in Israel, Canada, France, Iceland, China, India, Cameroon, Croatia, Czech Republic, and the U.S. are documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/4announcement/). In four years, very exciting events were scheduled in several new participating countries including these: 2002 ISAD events held in Cameroon, India, Canada, Belgium, Croatia, Uganda, Argentina, Burkina Faso, Argentina, Sweden, Israel, and the U.S. are documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/5announcement/). ISAD events continued to spread information about stuttering around the world, in a variety of unique ways including these: 2003 ISAD events held in Germany, Belgian, China, Canada, Israel, Spain, Chile, Croatia, France, Korea, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Nepal, and the U.S. are listed online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/6announcement/). Children are beginning to find ways to celebrate ISAD including these: 2004 ISAD events held in Ontario, South Africa, Cameroon, Argentina, Quebec, Israel, Croatia, Nepal, Hungary, UK, and the U.S. are documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/7announcement/). In keeping with the International Year of the Child Who Stutters, several events featured outreach for and by young people who stutter, including these: 2005 ISAD events documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/8announcement/) were held in Brazil, Nepal, Belgium, Korea, Spain, Cameroon, Africa, Argentina, China, Japan, UK, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, and the U.S. Included in the announcements is evidence that the outreach arm of ISAD is continuing to have a major impact in countries where first-time events are being organized, including these: 2006 ISAD events documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/9announcement/) included announcements from Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, India, Cameroon, and the United States, including: 2007 ISAD events documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/10announcement/) included announcements about ISAD events held in Canada, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Swedan, South Africa, Israel, Czech Republic, China, Poland, Korea, India, Cameroon, Ireland, the UK, Croatia, Germany, Norway and the United States, including: 2008 ISAD events documented online (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/11announcement/) included announcements about ISAD events held in many cities in China, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Croatia, Uruguay, South Africa, India, Brazil and the United States, including:

The first eleven ISAD Online Conferences

A unique ISAD event is the International Stuttering Awareness Day Online Conference organized annually by Judith Kuster. The online conferences are designed to connect consumers and professionals from around the world in a unique forum for three weeks (from October 1-22) each fall, culminating on International Stuttering Awareness Day (October 22). The papers are written in a reader-friendly style and designed to be accessible even with limited computer access. All past conferences are archived online, linked to the Stuttering Home Page (www.stutteringhomepage.com). It can be verified that the first eleven ISAD online conferences have reached people in at least 151 different nations.

The Power of Your Voice (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad/isadcon.html)

Many Languages, One Voice (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad2/isadcon2.html) Reach Out To Children Who Stutter (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/ISAD3/isadcon3.html) YOU ARE NOT ALONE: Transforming Perceptions (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad4/isadcon4.html) Don't Let Stuttering Stop You (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad5/isadcon5.html) "INTERNATIONAL STUTTERING AWARENESS" is every day. . . We just celebrate it on October 22!" (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad6/isadcon6.html) "International Year of the Child Who Stutters" (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad7/isadcon7.html) "Community Vision for Global Action" (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad8/isadcon8.html) "Don't Talk ABOUT us. . . Talk WITH us!" (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad9/isadcon9.html) Stuttering Awareness: Global Community, Local Activity (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad10/isadcon10.html) Don't Be Afraid of Stuttering (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad11/isadcon11.html) The total "hits" for any of the conferences or individual papers is not adequately reflected in the above statistics. A person from India downloaded all of the papers and produced a single file (both .exe and .zip) which could be downloaded and read off-line for those, as is true in his country, who have expensive internet connections. The files were placed on the website and download by several people in foreign countries which means that many read papers off-line rather than returning to the conference site. Also, some ISP providers (such as AOL) "cache" a site once/day which means anyone accessing the conference through that provider is actually accessing the "cache" rather than the actual conference site, which means those "hits" are not recorded.


In the past eleven years, International Stuttering Awareness Days that have been celebrated in communities and countries around the world have helped raise awareness of stuttering and connected people locally with information and support. The International Stuttering Awareness Day online conferences have been instrumental in connecting people around the world, including being the impetus for some exciting research about stuttering. In the years to come, ISAD will continue to fulfill its purpose of changing public attitudes and eliminating discrimination toward people who stutter, promoting self-esteem and opportunities for people who stutter, and building a community to exchange ideas and strengthen the relationship among researchers, people who stutter, clinicians, and parents of children who stutter.

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the authors before October 22, 2009.

DATE SUBMITTED: September 1, 2009
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