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How Confident are your Managers around Stammering?

When I talk to employers about disability, the conversation can range from people who use wheelchairs, autistic people, people with sight or hearing impairment, and perhaps mental health and learning disabilities. Stammering is not often mentioned, even though 1 in 100 adults stammer. There are over 300,000 people who stammer – equal to the population of Cardiff – among the employed population of the United Kingdom.

Most employers do not know how many of their employees stammer. This is partly because many people who stammer will go to immense lengths to hide it. Some are very successful at doing so, but often at great cost to themselves and in ways that may affect their prospects and productivity.  People generally think they know what stammering is because they recognise it when they hear it, but in fact colleagues and managers may have absolutely no idea that they have someone who stammers in their team. And people who stammer often don’t find it easy to talk about it unless the conditions are right to do so.

In short, the implications of stammering at work can impact on both employer and employees, and managers benefit hugely from being trained in ways they can address this issue. The British Stammering Association offer a superb workshop around stammering awareness for managers called Introduction to Stammering Workshop.

The course highlights key areas of focus for employers to provide appropriate levels and types of support. It will also equip you with detailed ideas for actions and practice you can take and use in your own workplace. Two experienced trainers, a leading Speech & Language Therapist, and the Chief Executive of the British Stammering Association take a group of up to 18 managers (HR, recruitment, D & I, line managers etc) through a workshop to enable them to:

  • Have an improved understanding of the different aspects of stammering and its potential impact in the workplace
  • Be aware of the stigma surrounding stammering and the unconscious bias facing people who stammer
  • Have identified barriers facing people who stammer in the workplace, and how these may impact on your organisation’s recruitment and performance
  • Have a clear insight into different types of adjustments for people who stammer, and how these can impact positively on the wider workforce.
The course can be delivered in your own premises, saving travelling time and costs for participants.
Feedback from managers attending the workshop includes:
“It’s been really revelatory. I had no idea of the impact stammering has on people, and what we need to do as an organisation to encourage people to feel comfortable enough to disclose.”
“I found it most helpful to understand the barriers. I feel people want to help, they just need to be told how … Powerful to hear directly the lived experience of people who stammer.”
“Very knowledgeable and inclusive presenters. Well-balanced, informative and delivered in a relaxed and interactive way.”
“I have a much increased awareness and feel it will help my communication with a senior manager who stammers.”
If your managers are not confident around stammering, this will almost certainly be restricting the opportunities your organisation has to benefit from the talents of people who stammer.
For a conversation about how this training might support your managers, please contact Helen Carpenter on  hc@stammering.org or call her on 020 8983 1003.

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