About the presenters: The various presenters represent both the consumer and professional community of persons who stutter in various countries. They were asked to provide reports about the successes their countries experiences as a result of ISAD 1998, in part to celebrate what happened, but also to provide ideas for ISAD celebrations for other countries in the future. There are additional reports for those interested, from the European League of Stuttering Associations conference on International Stuttering Awareness Day 1998

ISAD 1998 - some success stories

by Beatriz Touzet, Miriam Lobato, and Karina Couselo Ríos (Argentina), Kathrin Hoelzl (Austria), Martine De Vloed (Belgium), Claudia Regina Furquim de Andrade (Brazil), Jaan Pill (Canada) , Antero Tiilikka (Finland), Benny Ravid (Israel), Robbie Cameron (South Africa), Anita Blom (Sweden), Annie Bradberry (USA)

  • ISAD 98 Argentina by Beatriz Touzet, Miriam Lobato, and Karina Couselo Ríos
      Beatriz Touzet, a Speech Pathologist, Professor at the University of Buenos Aires and President of the Argentine Association on Stuttering writes, "We had different activities to celebrate International Stuttering Awareness Day 1998 in Argentina. Our first objective was to locate our association's activities at the university. After our first international seminar about stuttering we were given a nice place at the university -- but only the place: restrooms, rooms and walls were restored with our hands. So we celebrated the ISAD meeting at the university with a new secretary and a nice place to carry-out different activities. And it was a real party..... We delivered 500 papers about ISAD 98 in schools, churches, gasoline stations and on the street. We made TV publicity and annoucements at the speech pathologist association (ASALFA). Many were invited to the party. We shared wine and empanadas, dancing mask and poetry. A wonderful moment, speech pathologists, people who stutter and parents all together.

      Miriam Lobato, who identifies herself as a person who stutters writes: We usually meet ourselves. This time, our first celebration of the International Stuttering Awareness Day, we met children, teenagers, and adults, together with professionals and all of those who wanted to join and be with us. The meeting was held at the Stuttering Argentine Association, at the University, it was another reason of celebration, to inaugurate this new place, that day after day is changing people's lives. For many people, this was an opportunity to see friends again, with joy, emotion and shared experiences. There was music. Being there, being together, it was good to see how important non-verbal communication is -- finding how much a glance, a hug, or a smile tells us. At this place, members of our self-help group shared joy and emotion to express their feelings. It was wonderful, because talking about what is happening to us and what we are feeling is a way to rebuild. This celebration had been possible because of Beatriz Touzet's unconditional support, together with her team. I wish to thank them Very much. I also wish to thank to the self help group I am part of.

      Karina Couselo Rios writes: I am speech pathologist and work for the Argentine Association on Stuttering. We celebrated International Stuttering Awareness Day at the medicine school (U.B.A.), where the Association has a nice place. We invited parents, people who stutter, professionals and children who stutter. It was the first year that date was celebrated in our country. We had a great time sharing our interests, feelings and experiencies about stuttering, all together at our assosiation

  • ISAD98 Austria by Herwig Poehl and Kathrin Hoelzl
      The Austrian Stuttering Self-help Association is a pretty small organisation, it consists of self help groups which meet regularly in all districts of Austria and the head organisation which has its office in Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, where the whole association was founded. The number of our members is quite small and so is the number of active members. So the few active members are most of the time very busy with normal association business, our quarterly newsletter, school projects and so on. We normally don't like surprises and Stuttering Awareness Day took us by surprise, but it turned out to be a good surprise. Late in September the news reached us that the Stuttering Awareness Day was coming up. At that time we were already planning another information evening in Styria and a lecture on stuttering in December. So when we heard when this Stuttering Awareness Day was going to be we were not really happy because there was already a lot to do. However, we said to ourselves that we couldn't let this go by unnoticed or uncelebrated. We decided to make the best of the situation although we had only such a short time to plan it. A - what is called 'Tag der offenen Türe' in German - 'day of the open door' was planned. For the whole day the door would be open for everybody who wanted information and we wanted to thank all the people who had helped us in the past. In order to attract attention we wrote letters to all newspapers, TV and radio stations and to a lot of politicians. Posters were copied and put up in the University and other public buildings. We decided to make noise and make ourselves heard. The reactions were poor to our letters, a TV-station told us that we were not interesting enough, we were devastated and there were only a few days left; we thought nobody would come. Out of frustration I started to call all radio stations and newspapers again, personally, to make sure that they had got our letters and took notice of us.

      But then the big day came and surprise! It was a great success, a radio station had called me the day before and another one talked about it in the morning. When the vice mayor of Innsbruck came at eleven o'clock already some other politicians and important people had been there before. In the late afternoon the Stuttering Awareness Day reached its peak. The Minister of Families came for a visit short before he flew back to Vienna. We were incredibly proud. He told us that we were doing a good job and he was very impressed by everything. We were able to talk to him about our money problem and he promised funding which we soon received. The day had been a great success although we didn't have much time for planning.Looking back at the ISAD one year later it had attracted a lot of attention, notonly from the Austrian government but also from the press.

      Following ISAD I had a 15-minute interview with a radio station over the telephone and also that TV station which had told us that we weren't interesting enough has found out that that is not the case, only a few months later we were invited to a talk show on the topic of stuttering. During the last year we were two times nation-wide on TV and four times in regional TV stations.

  • ISAD98 Belgium by Martine deVloed
      Martine deVloed works full-time for a company that sells a cooking system, is vice-chairperson of BEST, the national stuttering association of Belgium, and a member of the International Stuttering Association board.

      In 1993 some stutterers in Flanders (the northern part of Belgium, which is Dutch speaking) attended a very succesful treatment program in the Netherlands. The weeks after the treatment we were very euphoric. We could almost speak fluently. But as time passed we began to stutter again. We really needed to come together, to share experiences and to practice the method. Thanks to the financial support of Demosthenes, the national stuttering organisation of our neighbouring country the Netherlands, BeSt (Belangengroep Stotteraars) came to be formed in January 1995. Nowadays, four years later we still cooperate with Demosthenes.

      BeSt has grown over the years. There are 8 board members (7 stutterers and 1 speech therapist non-stutterer), 100 members and 7 selfhelp groups in Flanders. Unfortunately BeSt couldn't reach French speaking stutterers who are living in the south of Belgium. We hope to change this in the future.

      We have broken away from one therapy to explore wider issues, including attitudes, relationships and job issues, which we offer to the members in workshops at weekends two times a year.

      There is also cooperation with another stuttering association in Flanders, vzw Stotter. This organisation treats especially young children by involving the whole family and works together with speech therapists.

      Another approach to stuttering is the use of the device DAF - FAF. BeSt has obtained sponsorship from the Sint-Niklaas foundation to do research on it. By using this headset you can hear your voice a little bit slower or higher and consequently you can speak fluently. For the first time in Belgium a group of 10 stutterers is following a treatment program now with this device. We are curious about the results.

      Last year for International Stuttering Awareness Day, our BeSt group hosted a full-day congress on October 22, for professionals, students, and parents of children who stutter, at the University of Ghent. In the afternoon we had a congress with 5 schools (students speech therapists) and also other professionals, and in the evening for parents of children who stutter and for students with pedagogical backgrounds. Between the two congresses we had an evening dinner for the professors and the staff of vzw BeSt in a nice restaurant. We printed 400 informational booklets and sold posters. We also printed and worked to gain media attention, including sending a press release about ISAD to 300 journalists in Belgium.

      And last but not least the University of Ghent and BeSt are organising the next World Congress for People who Stutter. This event will take place in Ghent from 23 till 26 July 2001. We hope you will all have the opportunaty to attend the 6th World Congress.

      This is briefly the story of BeSt.

  • Good news from Brazil by Claudia Regina Furquim de Andrade

  • ISAD98 and 99 Finland - by Antero Tiilikka
      Dr. Antero Tiilikka, born in 1931 in Turku, Finland, studied chemistry at the Institute of Technology in Helsinki, Finland, and achieved the MSc. in 1957. After military service he continued the studies at the Technische Universität in West-Berlin and got a degree of Doctor-Ingenieur in 1961. He served the Finnish packaging Industry in production, marketing, sales and development untill retirement in 1996. Antero started his stuttering career at age of 7 years, and after various stuttering therapy trials in Finland visited the van Riper Clinic in WMU in 1993, for a short therapy of Dr. Mick Hanley. Antero joined the Association of the Finnish stutterers in 1994, and was elected for Chairman and Editor of the periodical for 1999.

      1. International Stuttering Awarness Day October 22, 1998

      The main objective was to inform the Finnish public about stuttering, the causes of stuttering, how stuttering affects the life of stutterers and about possible therapies for eliminating or relieving of stuttering. Therefore the activities were concentrated on printed and electric media. About two weeks before the ISAD the first announcement was sent to three biggest national newspapers and to the national news service covering other newspapers in Finland, as well as to the three national TV-networks. In this first announcement the idea of ISAD was described in examples of the everyday life of stutterers (human interest stories). Further it was mentioned that worldwide there are over 30 million stuttering people, in Finland 50.000, and the purpose of the ISAD was to increase the public awarness of and support to stuttering people. At the end of this announcement we proposed to send background information about stuttering. to media later, before ISAD. That information was sent one week before ISAD, and it consisted of following four papers, one page each:

      • What is stuttering?
      • Does your child stutter?
      • Stuttering pupil
      • How stuttering is healed or relieved?
      How was the reaction of the media? Two national TV channels took the ISAD into their morning programs on October 22, and both of them had an interview of a stutterer and of a speech therapist. The first TV-shot, about 15 minutes was already after 6 a`clock in the morning, and the second one in another channel, a quarter before 9 in the same morning. This second interview was then repeated several times during the day in one channel in the national radio. The printed media was not as much interested, the biggest daily newspaper did not print anything about ISAD. However, on the previous day to ISAD the largest Finnish evening paper published an interview of the most famous Finnish stutterer, Mr. Pertti Paasio, former leader of the Social-Democratic party and Foreign Minister. In this interview Mr. Paasio, who is now member of the European Parlament , described how stuttering had affected his political career. The interview aroused much interest in the public and was also referred to in the TV-shots in the next morning.

      Also in other, regional or local newspapers, as well as in regional radios, the ISAD was mentioned and referred to. In our estimates, through TV, radio and newspapers over half million people or about 10-15 per cent of the finnish population (excluding babies and pre-school children) were informed about ISAD. As a first try in this field, we consider it as a not very bad result.

      In this connection we would like to thank IFA and ISA and their ISAD team for their very valuable information spreading activities, which included also the Internet-conference.

      2. Plans for 1999

      In our opinion, the ISAD (translated into Finnish language: International Stuttering Day) is a most valuable tool for spreading information and understanding about stuttering. In that way it also increases the possibilities to gain more public and private support for the activities of national stuttering associations and for stuttering therapy, especially for children. This is especially true in case of our Finnish association. We have a little over 300 members, and publish 2-3 times/year our own periodical, Painokas, which is intended mostly for our members. Although the periodical is mailed also to other organisations, it is not a very powerful tool for gaining more awarness and support.

      Our association has in this year the 30 years anniversary. We plan to combine it with the ISAD to have more publicity than last year. The main festival will be arranged two days after the ISAD, on Sunday October 24 in the Helsinki area. The main speech for the anniversary will be presented by Mr. Pertti Paasio, then already retired MEP. Other honorary guest will include the founder members, representatives of the organisations for financial support and of the Ministry for Social and Health affairs, etc. Also representatives of our nordic sister associations will be invited. We will also try also extend the ISAD activities to our local associations and advise them to inform media and local authorities, schools, etc. We trust that in that way we could extend the information coverage of ISAD in Finland widely over the 10-15 % achieved last year.

  • ISAD 1998 somewhere else

  • ISAD98 Israel by Benny Ravid
      Benny Ravid is a software engineer. He is the leader of the Tel Aviv self help group for people who stutter, President of AMBI (the Israeli organization of stutterers) and the web master of the Israeli Stuttering Home Page.

      AMBI - The Israeli Stuttering Association is a young association that was formally registered on April 1999. The first official AMBI event was the ISAD conference which took place on October 22, 1999. At that event AMBI was declared. In addition, we had several lectures given by some of the top Israeli SLP's. The ISAD conference was the first and at the same time the biggest AMBI event up to date (130 participants).

      AMBI's purposes as stated on the registration form are:

      • To create a world that understands stuttering and the people who stutter.
      • To increase public awareness on the subject of stuttering.
      • To provide a supportive environment for people who stutter and their families.
      • To improve treatment services for PWS in Israel.
      • To encourage the best SLP students to choose stuttering as their specialization.
      • To encourage research of the stuttering phenomenon.
      The above purposes are very ambitious and not easy to accomplish for as young association as AMBI, but we are doing our best to move ahead with them.

      Several things have happened in AMBI since the last ISAD day.

      On May 1, 1999, AMBI become a member of ISA - International Stuttering Association. Now AMBI is part of the national Israeli support system and also a member of the international family of stuttering associations.

      We have had another two additional AMBI meetings -- one in January and the other in May 1999. The January meeting was a small one (about 30 participants). It was a trial to start with monthly meetings. Although that meeting was very interesting we decided to abandon the idea of small monthly meetings and to go on focusing on bigger events every six months.

      The May meeting was much bigger (about 70 participants). It was organized in a talk show fashion in which we interviewed several families of stuttering people. One of the top Israeli comedians participated in that meeting. The success of the May meeting was outstanding. It was a lot of fun for the participants and for the organizers too. The main lesson that we learned at that meeting was that AMBI meetings are in fact social meetings of people who are connected to stuttering as PWS or as professionals. Therefore the formal program in such meetings must be of social character.

      In November 1999, we started with publishing a newsletter called "BEKOL RAM" which means "With a load voice." "BEKOL RAM" is the first newsletter in Hebrew that deals with stuttering. It provides the readers with general information about stuttering and also with articles written by PWS telling about their personal problems.Since November we have already published four issues.

      These days we are working on the AMBI web site (in Hebrew). This web site includes general information about AMBI and selected articles from "BEKOL RAM". The URL is http://www.angelfire.com/il/bravid/Ambi.html

      The Tel Aviv self help group (that was established two years ago) continues to grow. AMBI meetings and the publicity in the media which accompanies these meetings have brought a lot of new members to the group. Today the Tel Aviv self help group is a well established home for PWS -- a home in which a PWS may stutter without fear or shame and a place in which PWS may speak in front of group (an exciting experience for most PWS) and a place to start love affairs too.

      In the last months we made two TV programs which were broadcast on local TV stations. In these programs stuttering was explained and the self help group members talked about their problems as PWS. These programs have had an impact on public awareness towards stuttering and it also opened a space for creation of more self help groups for PWS in other cities.

      Now we are preparing our next ISAD meeting that will happen in October 21, 1999. This meeting will deal with families of stuttering children and seems that it will be held in a fashion similar to that of May meeting, but will be much bigger.

  • ISAD98 South Africa by Robbie Cameron
      Robbie Cameron (female) came to South Africa from London, England in 1984. After working at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg for many years Robbie started her own company, RCA, which specialises in organising academic conferences. Robbie organised the International Stuttering Conference in Johannesburg in July 1998 and since then has become a part of Speakeasy SA, administering the membership, doing press releases, updating the mailing list and helping to make the public aware of PWSs. Most of all though having fun with all the wonderful people who make up Speakeasy SA. Robbie has two children, Jamie who is nearly 21 and studying at Wits, and Beth who is nearly 16 and at school here in Johannesburg.

      Last years attempt at promoting International Stuttering Awareness Day was our first go at making known to many South Africans this important day.

      The Johannesburg Speakeasy Group always has fun and the evening that we all sat together stuffing envelopes with the wonderful posters sent from America was no exception. The group managed to organise themselves into a production line of label stickers, envelope stuffers, and stamper. These posters we sent out to many of our hospitals, local schools and speech thereapy departments throughout the country.

      The word definitely did get around, and with the help of some media releases and the resulting publicity, several enquiries to our office were made and our mailing list for information and newsletters grew tremendously.

      This year we are trying to do better. We have already organised our 'walk and talk'; we are trying to get onto one of our local TV stations; the media releases will be specifically targetted, hopefully resulting in even better publicity; our quaterly newsletter will be timed to be distributed just before the big day; and who knows what else may happen. So "Let's keep talking".

  • ISAD98 Sweden by Anita Blom
      My name is Anita Scharis Blom, born and raised in the Netherlands, but now married and living in Sweden. I work as a secretary and work on a stuttering project. I have stuttered since I was 9 and had a troublesome youth, but this helped me to become active at the local chapter, the national board and on European level to help people to feel the world is at their feet.

      The Swedish Stuttering Association is a small association, only eleven years young, and still has a lot to learn. One of the things we're working on right now is how to raise awareness on both small and large scale as the situation today is bad! Not only for people who stutter, but for all children and disabled people. Politicians have other problems, schools have no money and teachers have no time. So what can we do to get people's attention about the problems we have, how to fulfill the few but important needs we have and how to get rid of the questionmark on people's forehead when we start to talk?

      When Sveriges Stamningsföreningars Riksförbund, SSR, organized the World Congress for people who stutter in Sweden, Linköping, in 1994 we reached a lot of people through TV and newspapers, but reactions from the people were very low. We expected the phone not to stop ringing and loads of new members, but, apart from a very successful congress, people just noticed us and "walked by". We have asked ourselves many times what could be the reason and we came up with many answers, but none was really satisfying. We announced it long before, we engaged the media, even the Queen was our patronage! Was it the wrong time? Did we use the wrong words? We still don't know.

      Today we are slowly starting to become a name. We had an ombudsman for several years who has been involved in different projects and official reports to give stuttering "a face". We have recently produced new information material to schools with help from the Institute for Disability Issues, SIH, local groups more often show their activities in newspapers and new books about stuttering, not only for children, but also for speech therapy students have just come out. But because of the tough financial situation for disability association, we couldn't really start a national campaign to raise awareness about stuttering on a larger scale.

      Therefore we were very happy to hear about the International Stuttering Awareness Day during the ISA meeting at the World Congress for people who stutter in Johannesburg in 1998 and, although we didn't have the people nor the resources on so short notice, we started a movement. I contacted every daily and weekly newspaper, local and national, and every radio and TV station. I also started a campaign to engage the local groups to have an open day, have activities and notify their press, be at important places such as a library or a health center with information material and put folders everywhere. We were not sure what to expect, but hardly this storm of interest!

      It started when morning television interviewed a well known politician, who openly told the viewers he stuttered as a child. Then a famous radio reporter who stutters, a young girl who stutters and a speech therapist talked about stuttering. This program was broadcasted several times during the morning and the news reader mentioned the ISAD after every news item.

      The secretary of our national office, Conny, planned to serve coffee for the open day, but didn't have the time, as the phone was ringing constantly! So the Stockholm group, who also announced the open day in a free metro paper, read by many people, took over the visitors. Both Conny and me spent the day giving interviews (some live, some taped), handed out telephone numbers an addresses from local groups and explained why this day is so important. I myself was interviewed live for a local TV station and a radio station and gave many interviews.

      Most of the local groups were active in one way or another, had meetings and open days and reached lots of people. And we asked all members to stop at noon and tell the person next to you what day it is and to tell them about stuttering as was suggested on the Internet.

      While we were riding the storm, TV programs finally opened their doors to have programs about stuttering, which we have been trying to accomplish for so long without any result, so young members from the Stockholm self help group were seen on a youth program. A national health program has broadcasted a program about stuttering with a child who stutters, me as an adult stutterer and a speech therapist (with two times three reruns!!!) and we had three telephone lines open, a teenager showed a day of her life with her stuttering and a young boy talked about his dream despite his stutter, all on National TV!

      But not only the media and people passing by showed their interest: a brand new, but already very famous politician (because of her age: she's 80 years old!) called us and asked to meet us. We held our breath and wondered why she was interested in our work. It showed that she herself is a person who stutters and that she "wants to make up for the years lost in silence", she said. She has now written a motion for the political budget, she became the chair of the Stockholm self help group and promised us not to hold back her stutter in the parliament anymore and to talk about (her) stuttering!

      Another thing that is slowly spreading is our parent network. Kim Lindbom Carlsson, our parent representative, has organized several children camps, where children who stutter can meet and play, while parents get information about stuttering and can ask questions to a speech therapist and other adult stutterers. This has now resulted in monthly meetings where more and more parents and children meet. Other parents throughout the country are now getting active and talk to schools about stuttering, looking after their children's rights and learning about laws and school plans.

      More and more we are learning how to reach people. For example when there was a seminar for people with hidden disabilities, I directly asked why stuttering was not on the agenda and I now have time to talk in front of over 400 people working in the field. I always fax to local newspapers as soon as we had our local Annual meeting, when we're planning our activities and when I'm going away for an assignment. Just to show we're there, we're active, doing important but also fun things and to tell something about stuttering every time. A small town in Lapland asked us to send someone to talk about stuttering and when interest was very low the first day, I wanted to leave, as doing workshops with a severe stutter is not that kind of fun, but when we really reached teachers and other people who stuttered the next day, it felt great. One of the visitors who doesn't stutter told me she avoided words which are hard for her to say, and thanks to this workshop, she won't avoid these words anymore!

      Now politicians couldn't help but notice us and the SSR got funding for an information project producing leaflets and other information material, making inquiries, influence politicians and the ISAD. This year's ISAD the local groups will do the work on local level with help from last year's ISAD, the European seminar in Vienna about raising awareness (organized by the European League of Stuttering Associations, ELSA) and the ISA. The SSR will hold a member meeting the weekend after where all, young and old, parents and therapists will help to produce new leaflets and discuss this year's activities.

      Talking about our lives and problems is not only important for us who stutter and for those who work with and meet people who stutter, it's also about not giving up, love and friendship, unknown disabilities and the problems no one can see but that live and grow inside of you and most of all about acceptance. Therefore I hope I can convince you all to open up, talk about stuttering, asked or not, and to advertise your local group or national association, because there are too many people out there, not knowing we exist, not knowing who to turn to and not knowing that it takes so little to help us so much.

      Raise stuttering awareness for those who cannot do it by themselves. Join hands with other disability groups and raise your voices together. Use the International Stuttering Awareness Day as a tool to reach the people you cannot reach otherwise. Demonstrate by joining together in a walk. Still, big campaigns are important, but to tell other people you yourself stutter and how this has influenced your life gets straight to the heart. It opens doors for them to ask you questions they didn't dare to ask, it gives them addresses to other places and other people who can help and it gives you and other people another person who understands stuttering a little better.

      So wear that button, T-shirt or tag. Use that cup or banner, leave leaflets everywhere. Leave material at your local library and hang up posters. If you don't have any material yourself, I'm sure your national Association has. Encourage your child who stutters to give a talk in class and/or try to reach the teachers. We've seen results in our country, where there's still so much to be done, despite it's good reputation with health care.

      The theme "Many languages, one voice", the ISA newsletter One Voice and the ELSA newsletter Voice of ELSA all use the word Voice. This is not because we like our voice, but it is because we have been in silence for far too long and it's time to raise our voices to tell the people there's nothing wrong with our voices, our nerves or our minds. How can politicians, teachers or other people help us, when we don't tell them how we feel and what we need?

      The International Stuttering Awareness Day has absolutely been a great help forward and now we're rolling, we need to do everything not to stop this movement. For the first time all stuttering associations of the world joined together to raise stuttering awareness. Please raise your voices. If not for ourselves, then for our children. Let's teach them that stuttering is not a brick wall, not a contest. It's just a way of living. And remember:

      Only shameful issues are reduced to silence. Don't let stuttering be one of them.

  • ISAD98 - NSA/CAPS (USA and Canada) by Annie Bradberry
      Annie Bradberry is the Executive Director of the National Stuttering Association and has been a member of NSA for over 17 years, serving on NSA Board of Directors and as an NSA Chapter Leader for 16 years.

      The Canadian Association for People Who Stutter (CAPS) and The National Stuttering Association (NSA), formally the National Stuttering Project, celebrated International Stuttering Awareness Day October 24, 1998 in Toronto, Canada. Over 100 attended this special one-day workshop for children, teens, adults who stutter, parents and speech-language pathologists. Coordinators of this workshop included; Mary Wood, CAPS; Jaan Pill, CAPS, Annie Bradberry, NSA; and Bonnie Weiss, NSA. This exciting day was highlighted by presentations from Luc De Nil, Ph.D., Tony Churchill, MCST, and Gary Rentschler, Ph.D.

      For years children have been the driving force behind our work. For over nine years our Youth Day Workshops, led by leading experts in stuttering, have provided the parent a place to share their fears, hopes and learn what resources are available for them. During these heartwarming workshops, their children discover they are not alone as they work on stuttering issues from their daily lives, while local professionals--including speech clinicians and preschool teachers discuss early diagnosis and effective intervention strategies for children who stutter.

      This is the second youth day that CAPS and NSA have co-sponsored and certainly not the last. NSA and CAPS have been sharing ideas, strategies and concepts from the beginning of our relationship, knowing that together even more people will be reached by our joint efforts. In fact plans are already being made for another shared youth day event for ISAD 2000.

      The outcome of working together is evident as both organizations continue to grow and more children and adults benefit. Working together has positive effects on all of us: those of us who live with, work with and love children who stutter, and to the children and young adults who face stuttering every day. For many this can be the first time they are exposed to such a large group of people who stutter. It is often a "life changing" process and greatly gives them the feelings that "If you stutter, you're not alone".

      After these workshops, we believe that parents, professionals and educators will understand that organizations like ours can aid in the whole therapy process and understand the positive effects the self-help movement can have on speech management. Consequently, the roles of the National Stuttering Association and the Canadian Association For People Who Stutter, continue to expand as well as the relationship with the professional community who assists in making these programs effective. This is very important and is a WIN-WIN situation for everyone involved in the process of helping children and adults who stutter to communicate to the best of their abilities.

      Even though we are two separate organizations, when we come together and work side by side, it feels as though we are one.

  • ISAD event in St. Catharines, Ontario (Canada) by Jaan Pill
      Jaan is Coordinator of CAPS. He assisted in formation of the Estonian Association for People Who Stutter, and chairs the Outreach Working Group of the International Stuttering Association. He's an elementary school teacher with the Peel District School Board.

      About 100 people attended a one-day event hosted by the Canadian Association for People Who Stutter (CAPS) and the National Stuttering Association (NSA) in St. Catharines, Ontario on October 24, 1998 in celebration of the International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD).

      St. Catharines is a city in southwestern Ontario between Toronto and Buffalo. The October 1998 event brought together people who stutter of a wide range of ages, their families, and speech professionals. Bonnie Weiss of the NSA and Mary Wood of CAPS served as co-chairs of the event, with NSA executive director Annie Bradberry assisting with her superb organizing skills.

      The workshop received much valued assistance, by way of payment of the cost of renting facilities, from the St. Catharines chapter of the Ontario District Association of Chapters of SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America). Similarly, the Toronto chapter of the same organization has generously and enthusiastically assisted in staging of similar events in Toronto.

      The 1998 ISAD meeting in St. Catharines was publicized in a breakfast interview on CITY-TV, a major Toronto-area TV station, with university student Carolina Ayala. Carolina was subsequently also featured in a 20-minute news item on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) TV channel in Montreal on the occasion of ABC / CAPS 99, the national conference which was held in Montreal in August 1999.

      The St. Catherine meeting featured well-organized presentations, with extensive audience interaction, by Tony Churchill of Mississauga, Ontario; Gary Rentschler of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Luc De Nil of the University of Toronto.

      Tony Churchill, MCST, is a speech-language pathologist in the school system in the Region of Peel. He was also a keynote speaker at ABC / CAPS 99, in Montreal in 1999. CAPS and the association des bègues du Canada (ABC) co-hosted the latter conference, which received extensive media coverage including a report on the CBC national radio news broadcast on August 19, 1999, and a report in a national Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, on August 20, 1999.

      Second facilitator at the October 1998 event in St. Catharines was Gary Rentschler, PhD, director of a speech, language and hearing clinic at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Tony Churchill and Gary Rentschler addressed issues that relate to the interaction between emotional factors, self-talk, and fragile speech muscle timing. Third facilitator was Luc De Nil, PhD, associate professor at the University of Toronto and president of the International Fluency Association, who presented recent data related to the neurology of stuttering.

      The 1998 event also featured a workshop for children, and another one for teens, and sessions where every member of the audience had the opportunity to share information, thoughts, and feelings.