Make Room For The Stuttering

The Disability Question

Posted on: October 14, 2015

The International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) online conference is going on right now and can be found here.

I have a paper in the conference this year addressing the issue of whether stuttering is viewed as a disability. And who gets to make that call, the individual affected by stuttering or society?

I relate some of my experiences with talking with high school students who noted my stuttering as a disability even though I had never articulated it as a disability myself. I find it interesting that I’ve also had a boss who referred to me as having a disability when I don’t really consider myself disabled.

However, I have “ticked off” the disability box on applications and questionnaires because technically, stuttering is covered by the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1998 and 2010.

I would love your thoughts on The Disability Question.

What do you think? Do you consider stuttering a disability? Who gets to make that determination?

2 Responses to "The Disability Question"

Hello Pam,
It is certainly a disability if the cause can be attributed to a medical condition which is more often than not a disability in itself such as a stroke or cerebal palsy. However for the run of the mill PWS it signals capitulation, one more nail in the doorway to improvement. Getting on top of your stutter is so much about the top two inches and ticking the disability box does not help.

Hello Steve -thanks for reading and weighing in. Stuttering is a disability because it interferes with speaking, which is a major life activity. I believe that stuttering is a neurological disorder which causes the disruption in normal speech flow. Because of that, we are afforded protection under the ADA. I tick the disability box in order to get any accommodation I may need in the workplace.
What do you consider improvement?

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