Established in 2000, the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for People who Stutter is a joint project by people living with stuttering, professional clinicians and researchers. It provides a framework for building a more humane, just and compassionate world for millions of people who stutter.

In our society, speech is considered one of the most important means for interpersonal communication. While other means, such as written language , may be superior at times in conveying the content of messages, spoken language not only contains content, but also includes information about the speaker's intent, emotions, personality and perceptions. That is why people who read books still like to attend readings by authors of these books and why millions of dollars are being spent developing tools that allow for automatic voice recognition systems and the incorporation of voice and images in electronic communication.

Unfortunately, the window that speech provides on the speaker's self, also can lead to stereotypical perceptions of people with speech disorders that go well beyond their speech difficulties.

While spoke word is taken for granted by most, the use of spoken language is challenging for millions of people around the world who stutter. It is estimated that approximately 1% or 60 million, of the 6 billion people with whom we share this world, stutter. For many of these individuals, daily communication is a constant struggle. For many of them, speech does not open doors but closes them for interpersonal , academic and professional development and fulfillment. Despite advances in our understanding of stuttering and its treatment, may people around the world who stutter do not have access to the services and support they deserve.

This Bill is written to foster attitudes and actions whereby individuals who stutter are provided the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations and to lead successful, productive lives. It recognizes the dual responsibility of listeners and society to create the environment in which people who stutter can develop their aspirations and talents, and of people who stutter to advocate better understanding and to become active partners in their own future.

Commet about using Poster and Pamphlet
By Janet Y. Skotko, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Board Recognized Fluency Specialist

At the Inernational Fluency Association World Congress I took note of Michael Sugarman at an IFA table filled with stacks of posters, with one opened up for display featuring the words "Bill of Rights." After reading this awesome poster I made a donation for approximately six posters and just a few pamphlets bearing the same message. Following that, I had two meetings with some business people in Montreal, and with no time to spare, took the posters and pamphlets along with me. Each businessperson asked for not one, but at least two of the posters because several of them knew a stutterer or knew of another colleague who had some connection with a stutterer. So -- I left those meetings with just two posters left and perhaps two pamphlets. I returned to the IFA table, told Michael of what had occurred, and made a donation for more. At my Stuttering Support Group meeting of September 8, 2003, I gave all but one pamphlet and one poster to group members. I thought we would discuss "rights and responsibilities," using what I had passed out to them-which we did; however no one wanted to give them back to me! They (PWS, parents, SLPs) said these were going to be so meaningful to each of them in different ways, so I let everyone keep them.

Very soon, I will be speaking to a variety of groups to obtain support for our Group's reason for being, its needs and its goal to educate others. I believe that the pamphlets will be read and shared and will promote the causes for which they have been designed.

To order posters and pamphlets please contact The cost to order posters: 1 -10 posters @ $2.00 each; 11 - 20 posters @$1.75; 21 - 100 posters @ $1.50 and 100 + will negotiate. The cost to order pamphlets 1 - 50 @ 25 cents each and 51 + will negotiate. Plus handling and Postage.