Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘women who stutter

Well, last week was a very busy one for me. Like I mentioned in my last post, I had several opportunities to talk about stuttering and hopefully raise awareness in my little corner of the world.

Last Monday, I was a guest on a local media production’s podcast where they interviewed me about stuttering. They sent me the link a few days later and I was really happy with how it turned out. The interviewers had done some prior research and asked me some great questions. Take a listen if you’d like. (Although that is an awful picture of me! Ugh!)

On Wednesday, I had the chance to “tell” my story at a 25th anniversary celebration of the Interfaith Story Circle, which is a local group here in Albany, New York that focuses on the power of storytelling. I was so delighted to have my story about women who stutter sharing their stories included in their celebration event.

And on Thursday last week, my podcast was featured on one of our local news channel’s segments highlighting women. That was such an exciting experience, as being on TV is a big deal, at least to me anyway. Fortunately, I was more photogenic in this clip here.

http://wnyt.com/news/pamela-mertz-podcast-for-women-who-stutter/4902733/?cat=11883

 

 

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On stage

I had the amazing experience to interview Nina G, a stuttering stand up comedian this past Friday night on stage after she performed her routine. Nina has been featured several times on my Women Who Stutter podcast and has numerous YouTube videos showcasing her comedy and disability rights activism.

When Nina told me she had booked a gig at the University at Albany, right in my backyard, I was excited to get to see her and immediately planned for that weekend. But then Nina let me know that she wanted me to interview her live for my podcast. I was beyond excited but also naturally nervous.

A few days before Nina’s performance, we spoke by phone to map out a game plan for Friday’s show. Nina shared that it was her plan to have me live interview her on stage as part of the performance. I had not figured on that. I thought I would just be interviewing her after the show.  So, I prepared some questions that I hoped would generate good discussion and crossed my fingers.

Well, Friday’s performance was a huge success. There were well over 100 people in the audience and people stayed for the whole show! There were several people who stutter in the audience as well, which was really fun.

Nina performed her comedy routine for about 30 minutes and then invited me on stage for the interview segment. Oh my gosh, it went great. We played off each other and had great dialogue going on. We recorded the audio and hopefully I will be able to use it for a future podcast episode. Nina also video recorded most of it as well.

It was such a great experience. I had never done anything like that before and it was such an adrenaline rush to be up on stage with Nina. After the interview segment, Nina invited me to remain on stage with her as she entertained questions.

After the show, a group of us went to dinner, including the two college students we met who stutter, as well as two other friends who stutter. Six of us closed a local restaurant and talked and laughed for several hours.

Thank you so much, Nina G for inviting me and including me in your show.  We did a lot of educating Friday night and helped normalize stuttering.

Nina and Pam

 

 

PamEpisode 176 features Lisa Wilder, who hails from Toronto, Canada. Lisa has been involved with the Canadian Stuttering Association for about 11 years. She prefers behind the scenes work and thus enjoys serving as the webmaster for the CSA.

Listen in as we discuss the goals and vision of the Canadian Stuttering Association, it’s annual conference held in October and how the CSA is essentially a labor of love for those involved.

We also discuss speech therapy, keeping up on research and new ideas in the field of therapy, and how change in attitude and mindset is often more of a game changer than actually focusing on speech strategies.

We also talk about the importance of not caring so much about what other people may think about your speech and looking at options if you think stuttering is holding you back.

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

PamEpisode 175 features return guest Rachel Hoge, who hails from Springfield, Tennessee. Rachel was a guest here in 2011, when she was 19 and in college for her undergraduate degree. She returns now, at 26, with her Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing. You can check out her first podcast, Untamed Tongue.

Rachel now has a full-time job as a Production Book Editor and she writes freelance on the side. Her eventual goal is to write a book on the intersection of stuttering and gender. In this episode, we discuss the perspectives of women who stutter in the context of several beautiful essays that Rachel published recently.

Listen in as we discuss how her articles on stuttering helped her transition into a new workplace, as her articles were shared with her team. She didn’t really need to “come out” at work as the team already knew her thoughts on her stuttering. We also discuss how Rachel gets her ideas for her pieces and how she pitches them to editors.

We talk about self-expression and embracing self as a woman who stutters through the lens of her piece, Lipstick Highlights My Stutter, But I’ll Never Stop Wearing It.

And we talk about how our perspective as women who stutter has value, even though society may not recognize that yet. Rachel shares that most women who stutter are warriors, initially misunderstood and overlooked, but now forces to be reckoned with. See her provocative piece on silencing women, What Do You Call a Woman With A Speech Disability? Invisible.

We also discuss the National Stuttering Association and the importance of community.

I absolutely loved this conversation with Rachel, as we delved into the very soul and purpose of this podcast. I am delighted to see how Rachel is gaining visibility through her writing and thus shines a light on women’s issues as we manage stuttering in a fluent world.

Music used in today’s show owes to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 174 features Tiffani Kittilstved who hails from Seattle, Washington. Tiffani just completed her clinical fellowship year to become officially licensed as a SLP. She works in private practice and has a caseload that includes about 20 kids who stutter. Tiffani is also actively involved in the stuttering community.

Tiffani leads a family chapter of the National Stuttering Association in Seattle and is also involved with FRIENDS. She is organizing a one-day FRIENDS conference to be held in April, also in Seattle.

Listen in as we talk about the journey Tiffani has had to become a SLP. She had a rocky road in college, first starting out as pre-med and then realizing that she didn’t really like it. Tiffani realized she liked neuroscience and wanted to do something that involved stuttering. She switched majors to SLP and after her first class, the chair of the department told her she should quit, because parents would never want to work with her because of her stuttering.

She tells her story of deciding to pursue graduate school for SLP and doing a lot of research on “stuttering friendly universities.” They are out there!

And we talk about covert stuttering, offering hope and empowerment to parents of kids who stutter, and the importance of counseling in good therapy. Fun fact about Tiffani – she has a twin brother and they both stuttered, but he recovered.

This was such a fun conversation with a very inspiring young woman who stutters. I am looking forward to meeting Tiffani in person in July at the annual NSA conference.

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 173 is a departure from the usual format of this podcast. I am excited to bring you a wonderful conversation with four individuals who are helping to organize the first ever Joint World Congress for stuttering and cluttering. This inaugural conference will be held this summer from July 13-16, 2018 in Hiroshima, Japan. It’s a “must attend” event.

Today’s episode features Annie Bradberry, who stutters and is the Chair of the International Stuttering Association  (ISA.) Joining her is Kirsten Howells, representing the International Fluency Association (IFA.) Kirsten, a British trained SLP, also stutters and represents the covert stuttering community. We have Susie Cook, a SLP, who is the Chair elect of the International Cluttering Association (ICA.) And last but not least, we have  “honorary” woman Charley Adams, who is a SLP and current chair of the ICA.

These heavy weights in the fluency disorder community come together to share some of the highlights of the upcoming Joint World Congress and they, along with Japanese associations, have all collaborated to ensure this event has something for everyone.

Listen in as we chat about the visions of the three different organizations, which strive to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. We talk about how the vision for this sprung from David Shapiro’s work to bring the organizations together, with the idea that together, they are strong. We talk about what each individual, as an attendee of the conference, is most looking forward to about going to Japan.

For good measure, we also discuss disk golfing, revolutionary war re-enactments, polar explorations and a stellar bungee jump opportunity.

This is a “don’t miss” episode if you are thinking about, or planning to attend this first of it’s kind opportunity in Japan this summer. You’ll find everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable adventure. Please feel free to leave feedback or questions. We’d love to hear from you.

 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be interviewed recently by a freelance journalist in the Albany, NY area. He was looking to do a piece on stuttering and wanted to both write an article and produce a podcast.

I got to give a shout out to the National Stuttering Association and shamelessly plug my own work here on this blog. I am very happy with how it turned out, even the picture. Please take a listen when you get a chance – it’s not too long and you can see how I responded “off the cuff” as the interviewer had not sent me the questions in advance!


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.
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