Reasonable accommodations.

In those cases in which stuttering will actually prevent an employee from performing some speaking tasks, there are ways in which the employer can make a “reasonable accommodation” that would allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job in question.

For example, members of a typing pool may be expected to take turns answering the telephone when the receptionist is at lunch. A reasonable accommodation may be to relieve the person who stutters of this non-essential task, and instead have the person help with another task that doesn’t require speaking.

Listening to a person who stutters.

Stuttering is nothing to be embarrassed about – either for the person who stutters or the listener. The following are some tips that will make it easier for both of you:

Listen attentively and wait for the person to finish. Don’t try to fill in words or complete the person’s sentence.

Focus on what the person is saying about his or her experience, abilities, and skills.

  • Speak normally in a relaxed manner.
  • Maintain natural eye contact, even when the person is stuttering.
  • Don’t equate hesitant speech with uncertainty.

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