NSA@Home Online Conference

The National Stuttering Association had an amazing summer hosting our one-of-a-kind NSA@Home Conference. Over four days, the online conference provided connection, support, and education to people who stutter of all ages.

Over 1,600 people from 20 countries around the world registered to attend NSA@Home. Amazingly, for 800 of them, it was their first-time attending an NSA Conference.

If you were unable to attend NSA@Home, you can experience the connection and education by streaming the recorded sessions. And if you attended, then enjoy seeing the sessions for a second time.

NSA@Home Sessions

KEYNOTE Conversation: John Hendrickson

Earlier this year, John Hendrickson wrote a thought-provoking and revealing article in The Atlantic magazine about Joe Biden’s lifelong journey with stuttering. Joe Biden rarely speaks openly about his stutter, yet he shared some deeply personal feelings in the article. John also has a story to tell about his own journey with stuttering. NSA Board Member John Moore sat down with Hendrickson to talk about the stigmas of stuttering as a public figure, the lack of role models who stutter openly, and to learn how Hendrickson’s life has changed since the article.

John Hendrickson is a Senior Political Editor at The Atlantic, where he recently wrote a highly influential article about former Vice President Joe Biden’s journey with stuttering. John’s article has been read by more than one-million people.

KEYNOTE Conversation: Cleavon Gilman, MD

Dr. Cleavon Gilman has a fascinating life story that’s just beginning. As an ER physician in NYC during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was on the incredibly stressful and difficult frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. His life before becoming an MD will inspire you to rise above challenges to find your rhythm in life. NSA Chapter Leaders Derek Mitchell (Atlanta) and Elizabeth Wisler (Athens) talked with Dr. Gilman to learn how he has become a shining light for people who stutter.

Dr. Cleavon Gilman is an Emergency Medicine physician in Arizona. His path to medicine included service in the Marine Corps, where he was a Combat Medic deployed to Iraq, overcoming personal hardship during his youth and living life with a stutter.

Stuttering Research and Medical Updates

A panel of expert researchers, clinicians, and professors shared summaries of recent research in stuttering across a variety of topic areas (etiology, genetics, medical aspects, and therapy approaches). Because some of the panelists shared yet-to-be-published findings, this session was not recorded. However, all panelists answered a long list of questions from session about the nature, diagnosis, and treatment of stuttering and two panelists shared their presentation deck.

Panelists included:
Gerald Maguire, MD
(University of California, Riverside), Scott Yaruss, Ph.D. (Michigan State University) Shelly Jo Kraft, Ph.D. (Wayne State University), Shahriar Sheikhbahei, Ph.D. (National Institute of Health), Soo-Eun Chang, Ph.D. (University of Michigan)

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“The NSA means I get thousands of people who accept me just how my family does.” – David Resnick

Stuttering and Career Success

There are various workplace situations that can be challenging for people who stutter, such as job interviews, delivering presentations, and participating in meetings. The NSA’s WeStutter@Work Team shared helpful career success advice on those topics and recorded a special session answering questions from attendees that were not answered in live session.

Panelists included:
Carl Coffey, Haley Aguayo, Frank Stechel, Ariel Mahlmann, Derek Mitchell, Catherine Moroney, Charley Adams, Ph.D., and John Moore.

Adults Panel: Ask Us Anything

Adults who stutter face a challenging journey in navigating all areas of life. Dating, relationships, married life. Finding self-acceptance. Therapy options. Overcoming self-stigma. Being a covert stutterer. Disclosing your stuttering. Creating happiness. A diverse panel of adults who stutter answered audience questions on all of these topics and more.

Panelists included:
Heather Najman, Charles White, III, Sarah D’Agostino, Tiffani Kittilstved, Bill Nimelman, and Steve Ernst.

Open Mic

An NSA Open Mic session is always a welcoming and rewarding experience for everyone who talks and everyone who listens. People shared feelings of optimism, moments of hardship, their deep struggles with stuttering, and their extreme joy of being connected with so many people who stutter. This was an amazing session!

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“Being part of the NSA extends our family. We feel at home with the NSA and our daughter is totally herself. We appreciate everything the NSA has given us and everything they do with and for us.” – Seth Deitchman

Parents: Ask Us Anything

The NSA brought together a panel of parents to answer your most pressing questions regarding parenting people who stutter through preschool and into adulthood. The practical advice shared from the panel left parents feeling more encouraged and confident in how best to help their child succeed and to help themselves feel more supported as a parent.

Panelists included:
Kristine Short, Nikki Taulman, Seth Deitchman, and Annette Onofri.

Parents: Navigating Summer without School & Speech Therapy

Learn from of a mom of person who stutters, a speech-language pathologist, and an elementary school teacher who stutters, as they discussed a variety of issues parents face with children receiving speech therapy. The advice included perspective on teletherapy sessions versus in-person therapy and what parents should look for in a speech therapist for their child.

Panelists included:
Kristine Short, Courtney Byrd, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Sarah Onofri.

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“The NSA has helped me to embrace my stutter, which has changed me for the better.” – Tracey Wallace

When I Stutter: Panel Discussion

WHEN I STUTTER is an award-winning documentary that reveals the humanity that exists within people who stutter. Filmed over the course of nearly five years, this documentary shares the stories of nineteen people who stutter that run the range of human emotion from despair to hopefulness to ultimately, triumph. People featured in film met for an insightful panel discussion about their stuttering journey and how the film has impact their lives.

John Gomez is a speech-language pathologist for the Los Angeles Unified School District and teaches a graduate-level course on dysfluency at Cal State LA. He also moonlights as a filmmaker. His first feature film, WHEN I STUTTER, has won the hearts of thousands and has received critical acclaim across the world.

2020 NSA Award Winners

The NSA believes instilling a sense of self-worth can transform the lives of people who stutter and the communities that support them. Our yearly awards recognize the outstanding contributions people have made to the NSA and to the stuttering community. The NSA is greatly appreciative and tremendously excited to announce the 2020 NSA Award Winners:

  • Tiffani Kittilstved – Regional Chapter Coordinator of the Year
  • John Tetnowski – Academic of the Year
  • Douglas Scott – Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Danette Fitzgerald – Chapter Leader of the Year
  • Miami, FL – Chapter of the Year
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“The NSA is one of the most important things to me. My journey to being truly who am started when I found the NSA.” – Doug Scott