Benny Ravid is a software engineer. He is the chair and founder of AMBI, the Israel Stuttering Association. He is also ISA board member, head of the webmaster group of the ISA website and webmaster of AMBI website.
Stefan Hoffmann, 33, joined the self-help movement in Cologne, Germany in 1991. He became an ISA board member in 1998, dealing mainly with outreach matters in Latin America and Asia. He is currently located in Beijing, China.
Mark Irwin - is a dentist in private practice in Adelaide Australia. He is a past president of the Australian Speak Easy Association (1995 -7) and has been a board member of the ISA since 1998. He currently serves as ISA chairman.
Martine De Vloed is an employee at a company in Ghent, Belgium. She is a co-founder and the past vice chair of the Belgian Stuttering Association, vzw BEST. She is also the past vice chair of the ISA (1998-2001) and is currently an ISA board member.
Mel Hoffman: Retired. Certified Public Accountant. Formerly director of taxes at Ampex Corporation. Member of the board of directors of the National Stuttering Association from 1983-1994, serving some of these years as either secretary or treasurer. Member of the ISA management committee, 1995-1998. Member of the ISA board of directors, 1998-2001, also serving as treasurer. Continuing as ISA treasurer until about December 31, 2001.
Thomas Krall is a teacher of mathematics, sports and music at a comprehensive school. He is currently on a sabbatical. Chair of a stuttering self-help group in Duesseldorf, Germany, 1989-1991. Chair of the German stuttering > association, 1992-1993. Member of ISA management committee,1995-1998. Chair of ISA board of directors, 1998-2001.
Founded in 1995, the International Stuttering Association (ISA) is a not-for-profit, international umbrella association made up primarily of national self-help associations for people who stutter. This association seeks to provide a means whereby the voices of people who stutter can be heard at the international level.
Representatives of several national self-help associations had talked about setting up such an organization at a meeting in San Francisco in 1992 at the Third World Congress of People Who Stutter. Previous World Congresses were held in Kyoto, Japan in 1986 and in Cologne, Germany in 1989.
Discussions among national self-help associations in 1993 and a worldwide survey in 1994 led to creation of a draft version of the ISA constitution. This constitution was refined and ratified at the first ISA membership meeting in Linkõping, Sweden in July 1995, a day before the Fourth World Congress of People Who Stutter.
Further changes in the structure of ISA were agreed to at an ISA membership meeting at the Fifth World Congress in South Africa in July 1998.
The most recent version of the ISA constitution -- which you can find on the ISA website at www.stutterisa.org/ -- was ratified at an ISA membership meeting in July 2001 just before the Sixth World Congress of People Who Stutter in Ghent, Belgium.
The ISA vision is a world that understands stuttering.
ISA seeks to improve the conditions of all whose lives are affected by stuttering in all countries by among other things:
Membership in ISA is possible only for national or international self-help organizations of people who stutter, not for individual persons with the exception of non-voting special categories such as Special Friends and Honorary Members. The following countries are currently represented in ISA:
Members of the ISA board of directors, as well as the ISA advisory board, are listed on the ISA website, which also provides contact information for the ISA member associations. The chair of the ISA board of directors is Mark Irwin email@example.com of Australia. The immediate past chair is Thomas Krall of Germany (who will have a new email address soon).
As Mark Irwin has recently outlined in a message on the ISA website, current areas of interest for ISA include:
Public education is a key element in many ISA projects. In that context, ISA is a strong supporter of the IPATS project (International Project on Attitudes Toward Stuttering) initiated by Ken St. Louis of the USA. The project seeks to find out if there are differences in how stuttering is perceived in countries around the world. It also seeks to develop a survey instrument that will help us to find out whether public education campaigns are effective in changing public attitudes about stuttering.
Ken St. Louis has suggested it may be more effective to educate the public about what to "do" when speaking with stutterers, rather than focusing on just providing general information. For example, it's important to let non-stutterers know that it's not helpful to try to complete a sentence for a person who stutters. He also has suggested that having stutterers share their individual "stories" is another highly effective way to provide valuable public education about stuttering. A recent book by Ken St. Louis, Living with Stuttering, underlines the value of such stories.
At a meeting in August 2000 in Nyborg, Denmark during the Third World Congress on Fluency Disorders organized by the International Fluency Association (IFA), the ISA board of directors decided to update the original ISA website. ISA owes thanks to Eddy Orlowsky of the Netherlands, who created the original ISA website following the ISA founding meeting in Sweden in 1995.
The goal of the new site, at www.stutterisa.org/, is to create a global self-help network for people who stutter and a meeting point for stuttering on the Internet.
Looking at the above goal and at the same time looking at our world, the ISA board concluded that the ISA website is in fact a place of dreams. For that reason, the ISA website features sky blue and white colors to give an impression of being in clouds or in a world of dreams.
The site is based on development guidelines which specify that it:
By way of meeting operational requirements
The group welcomes additional volunteers. Please contact Benny Ravid firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. One Voice
One Voice, the ISA newsletter, offers a good overview of ISA activities -- and of its vision for the future. Recent issues are available on the ISA website.
ISA working groups are active in several areas. For example, the ISA outreach working group seeks to establish contacts with people who stutter in countries of the world that are not yet members of ISA. The chair of this working group, Stefan Hoffmann email@example.com, has a particular interest in furthering contacts in these areas:
Gert Reunes of Belgium firstname.lastname@example.org is chair of the video working group.
Beatriz Biain De Touzet email@example.com of Argentina is chair of the professional relations working group.
Andrew Harding firstname.lastname@example.org of Australia (currently working in Great Britain) is chair of the employment and stuttering working group.
Annie Bradberry Abradberry@aol.com of the USA is chair of the resource working group, and of the fund development working group.
Stefan Hoffmann email@example.com of Germany (currently working in China) is chair of the outreach working group.
Gert Reunes firstname.lastname@example.org of Belgium and Martine De Vloed Mart.email@example.com of Belgium are co-chairs of the WHO (World Health Organization) working group.
Benny Ravid firstname.lastname@example.org of Israel is webmaster of the ISA website. Mario D'hont mario.dhont@skynet along with Zvika Hernik are working with Benny. As well, Martine De Vloed is the ISA website email contact person.
Stefan Hoffmann and Annie Bradberry will co-chair the ISA Logo working group.
Martine De Vloed is coordinator of the One Voice newsletter.