Stuttering: Perspectives on Disability, Diversity, & Culture 

This Symposium will explore a theme relevant to researchers and practitioners in the area of stuttering. Stuttering: Perspectives on Disability, Diversity & Culture, will include keynote speeches and group discussion to promote the exploration of stuttering inspired by work in the fields of disability studies and neurodiversity. Separate registration is required and is open to all. This course is being offered for up to 1.4 ASHA CEUs (advanced level, professional area).

Prior symposiums have SOLD OUT, so be sure to register early.
No onsite registrations will be accepted.


Vivian Sisskin, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-F

Research Symposium Chair

More About Vivian Sisskin

Vivian Sisskin, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is a Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland, an ASHA Fellow, and Board Certified Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Maryland, and ASHA’s Media Champion award. She was named Speech-Language Pathologist of the Year by the National Stuttering Association. Ms. Sisskin served as Coordinator for ASHA’s Special Interest Group 4 (Fluency), on the Boards of Directors of the National Stuttering Association and The American Board on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, and as Chair of ASHA’s Council for Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC). She is on the Professional Advisory Board of the Stuttering Foundation, and a faculty member for the Foundation’s Mid-Atlantic and University Instructors Workshops. Sisskin is the book review editor for the Journal of Fluency Disorders. Her articles and workshops cover treatment for stuttering, atypical speech fluency disorders, and communication strategies in autism. She is the owner of the Sisskin Stuttering Center in the Washington DC area.

Christopher Constantino, PhD, CCC-SLP
Research Symposium Co-Chair

Learning to Value Stuttering

More About Chris Constantino

Chris lives in Tallahassee, Florida where he is a speech-language pathologist and assistant professor in communication science and disorders at Florida State University. He teaches classes on counseling and stuttering. He researches the lived experience of stuttering and how this experience interacts with culture and society. Chris enjoys making and eating ice cream.

Judy Singer
Sociologist – Sydney, Australia

I. Neurodiversity: The Origins of the Idea: What I Think it Ought to Mean, What Others Think it Means.

II. Current Controversies Within in the Movement. Implications for Stuttering

More About Judy Singer

Judy Singer identifies as being “in the middle of 3 generations of women somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum”. In 1998 she produced an Honours thesis which was the first sociological study theorising the rise of this then new type of disability. In it she foresaw the rise of a “Politics of Neurodiversity”. Judy then moved from academic work to grassroots organising around her family’s urgent support needs in an environment overwhelmingly ignorant of AS.  She founded an online support group for people who had been raised by autistic parents, then co-founded ASteen, Sydney’s only non-institutional social club for Asperger teenagers.

Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Ph.D.
City University of New York

Recognizing Neurological Differences as Invaluable Aspects of Human Diversity: Learning from the Neurodiversity Movement; How to Promote Effective Communication and Alleviate Stigma

More About Kristen Gillespie-Lynch

Kristen Gillespie-Lynch received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from UCLA. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at CUNY. Guided by collaborations with autistic people, she co-constructs and evaluates interventions to empower autistic adolescents and adults and reduce stigma. She developed and directs a participatory mentorship program for autistic college students, Building Bridges Project REACH. Given that many of the challenges autistic people face arise from misconceptions about autism, she develops and evaluates autism trainings internationally. She applies insights gained from studying misconceptions about autism across cultures to teach educators how to better support neurodiverse students.


Collaborator (not attending, but co-author):

Steven Kapp, Ph.D.
University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Dr. Steven Kapp works as a research fellow on the Wellcome Trust-funded project Exploring Diagnosis: Autism and Neurodiversity at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. He is the editor of the book Autism Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontline, to feature analysis of first-hand accounts by leading autistic activists and to be published by Palgrave Macmillan this year. His studies examine how conceptions of autism, neurodiversity, and support associate with identity, lived experiences, and quality of life. As a self-advocate he has supported systems change work for inclusive employment and influenced the DSM-5 autism diagnosis.

Jeffrey Brune, Ph.D.
Gallaudet University – Washington, DC

Notes from a Disability Studies Scholar: How My Study of Passing, Disability Studies, and Disability Activism Reframed My Stuttering

More About Jeffrey Brune, Ph.D.

Jeff Brune is an Associate Professor of History at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the national university for deaf students. He has stuttered throughout his life, abandoned speech therapy in college, and regularly gives academic lectures. He is the co-editor of the first major study of disability and passing, Blurring the Lines: Disability, Race, Gender and Passing in Modern America. He is now working on his second book, under contract with Cambridge University Press, about how the fear of welfare fraud rose to the fore of American political culture in the late nineteenth century.

Joshua St. Pierre, Ph.D.
University of Alberta

Why the Stuttering Community Needs Disability Studies; Why Disability Studies Needs Dysfluency

More About Joshua St. Pierre

Joshua St. Pierre holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Alberta. He specializes in critical disability theory at the intersection of contemporary political, feminist, and communication theory. The overarching theme of his research is a critique of fluency: those technologies that seek to make information flow unimpeded across material bodies. He has numerous academic publications on speech disabilities, the history of Speech-Language Pathology, eugenics, and feminist theory. Joshua is also a co-founder of the Did I Stutter project, a knowledge-translation and activist community created by and for stutterers to embrace dysfluent voices and raise awareness of speech discrimination.