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STAMMA, the British Stammering Association

Over the last decade stammering has been the focus of the film ‘The King’s Speech’, the primetime documentary series ‘Educating Yorkshire’ as well as countless references in popular culture. In each of these instances, people who stammer are presented as being on 'a journey' towards fluency – to speaking and sounding like everyone else. This cements the notion that people who stammer should learn to talk fluently. This negatively impacts the lives, career prospects and mental health of people who stammer. We wanted to challenge this damaging representation of stammering and show the public that a stammer is simply a different way of talking. We created a film and advertisements showing how we edited 183 negative entries on Wikipedia to make them neutral, entries including those of Ed Sheeran, Emily Blunt, Lewis Carroll, Samuel L. Jackson and Charles Darwin. We created guidelines for the media about how to talk about stammering. We tailored our assets to share with our counterparts in Ireland, Canada, the USA and Australia, so the campaigns could run locally and in parallel, finishing on 22nd Oct, International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD). Stammering is simply how some people talk. There shouldn’t be shame in having a stammer.