NSP History

From: Amy Johnson
Date: 10/1/99
Time: 8:59:34 AM
Remote Name:


Thank you for a wonderful history of NSP/NSA. It can be easy to take for granted this incredible support system PWS
have --- internationally as well as nationally. You have made a tremendous difference for people all over the world with
your vision. Individuals can change the world. 

Re: NSP History

From: michael
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 6:26:59 AM
Remote Name:


amy, thank you for your kind thoughts. Its really cool witnessing consumers and professionals sharing ideas and taking
"action" in making this a better place for people who stutter.

NSP/NSA Membership Size

From: Ira Zimmerman
Date: 10/2/99
Time: 9:17:53 PM
Remote Name:


I guess I'm having a difficult time with NSA's new name. Your paper was an excellent telling of the story of the National
Stuttering Project, not the National Stuttering Association (NSA). There place in history remains to be written. As their
Chairman told us at the Seattle Convention, "we aren't a project anymore." I'll miss the good old days when you felt part
of a new struggling organization to help people who stutter and increase public awareness about us. 

Considering that there are 2-3 million American stutterers, do you have any ideas how NSA's membership can grow form
the present 2500 members? Or should NSA be satisfied with the present membership size realizing that support groups
aren't for everyone?

Re: NSP/NSA Membership Size

From: michael
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 7:45:24 AM
Remote Name:



It appears the NSA membership is growing. Last year I read NSA literature indicating 2,000 members. This year in
International Stuttering Assn. newsletter "One Voice" Lee Reeves, NSA chair, board of directors reported over 2700
members. Further, Lee reported 77 chapters across the united states. That ain't bad.

Re: NSP/NSA Membership Size

From: Ira Zimmerman
Date: 10/9/99
Time: 1:38:20 PM
Remote Name:


It's good to hear that NSA's membership has grown 700 members to 2700. At that rate, it will take 2,853 years to get to
2 million members, the estimated number of stutterers in U.S. Maybe by then a cure for stuttering will be found.

History: Biggest Thing to Overcome

From: Paul Young
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 11:35:24 AM
Remote Name:


Michael - 

Thanks for writing the history of our wonderful organization. I always love to hear about the early days; it makes me
appreciate how far we've come! 

What were some of the biggest challanges or obstacles that you had to overcome in the first couple of years? 

Paul Young 

Re: History: Biggest Thing to Overcome

From: michael
Date: 10/7/99
Time: 6:06:08 AM
Remote Name:



Its redundant to ask if you had a good time in hawaii. 

The only word that describes the late 1970's for me is- "energy". I was in my early twenties. I fed off the disability and
patients' rights movement in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Self help was a driving force in changing the way people viewed
themselves and are viewed by others. I 'love' people who stutter. 

NSA was able to secure "seed money" from Corporations in the Oakland and San Francisco area. NSA did not have to
rely on individuals to support programs. 

In 1978 NSA spoke out at the ASHA convnetion-Bob and I were part ofa panel which presented "Advocacy Movement in
Stuttering: Failure of the Profession" to a small but packed room. Some professionals "hugged" the self help movement. I
had a "feeling" that the organization was "here to stay". 

On a personal level regarding my stuttering- I was more concerned with "what I said" rather than "how I said it". 

I hope this answered your question? 

kindly, michael 

The biggest breakthrough

From: Jim McClure
Date: 10/13/99
Time: 10:21:25 AM
Remote Name:


One of the most important breakthroughs the NSP/NSA has made is establishing the idea that IT'S OKAY TO
STUTTER. This contradicts the traditional view that stuttering is a bad thing to do and that all stutterers MUST strive to
be fluent. One of the things that still impresses people when they first attend one of our conventions is seeing people who
stutter yet are effective communicators who can get up and make speeches and participate in discussion. 

Re: The biggest breakthrough

From: Michael Sugarman
Date: 10/16/99
Time: 2:06:42 PM
Remote Name:



Absolutely--Very Good point. In the late 1970's NSP/NSA members used person first language in describing their
experiences as persons who stutter (PWS) and spoke out in terms of "It's OK to Stutter". Journal of Fluency
Disorders,Vol. 5 #2 June , 1980 published an article "It's OK to Stutter-Personal Account" by me. Keep up the good
work with NSA- Look forward to seeing u in Chicago. warmly, michael


From: Jeff Shames
Date: 10/18/99
Time: 7:08:09 AM
Remote Name:



Thanks for a great afticle. I also enjoyed reading your response to Paul Young. It is wonderful that even in the early days
of the organization you were able to broaden the scope of your work beyond stuttering into disability rights in general. 

Russ Hicks said to me several years ago that he considers his stuttering to be a gift. It took time, but I have come around
to seeing his point of view. Among the reasons for this are the many wonderful people who have come into my life
because of my involvement in the stuttering self help movement. You, Russ, Paul; Judy Kuster and many of the people
who have posted papers here, and many more. It is wonderful to feel more empowered, and to see the same in other

I am sorry to have not found the NSP/A until the early 90's, even though I had lived in San Francisco for two years. But
better late than never! Thank for your overview of the history and perspective on how far we have come.

Re: Empowerment

From: Michael Sugarman
Date: 10/20/99
Time: 11:53:31 PM
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Jeff, I agree with you, if we did not stutter we would not have met so many warm people. It's all too often that we look
for "what would have been if I did not stutter" rather than "what is and what can happen." I plan to tune in to the Today
Show on Friday to watch you and others on ISAD! 

Look forward to seeing u in Chicago! warmly, michael