Stutterer wins Oscar

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Stutterer, an Irish/UK co-production won an Oscar for best live action short film at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016. Dublin-born Benjamin Cleary, wrote, directed and edited the film, accepted the award last night.  Producers Serena Armitage and Shan Christopher Ogilvie, and director of photography Michael Paleodimos were also present to collect the statuette.  Irish Stammering Association would like to congratulate the cast and crew!

The 12-minute film features a young man who stutters severely.  It gives a glimpse into the everyday experience of his world, his thoughts, and – essentially – portrays what life can be like for someone who stutters.

Stuttering (or stammering) is a communication difficulty characterised by sound repetitions, prolongations and blocks.  It can lead to anxiety around speaking and speaking situations; it can lead to social isolation and it can limit opportunities both educationally and professionally.  Irish Stammering Association offers a range of support groups for both children and adults who stutter; details are on our website.

For media enquiries, please contact 0871210044 or email ISA jl@stammeringireland.ie

 

Website update

isaisbeingupdated-01The ISA website is being updated, starting with a new style. We hope you like it and find it easier to navigate. Over the coming months you will see a number of changes to the site. We are working on making everything easier for you to find and get the information you need.  We will still be running our support groups around the country and our online groups.

If you’d like to get in touch please drop us an email at mail@stammeringireland.ie

Representatives of Irish Stammering Association visited Áras an Uachtaráin

Representatives of Irish Stammering Association visited Áras an Uachtaráin on Tuesday 1st December to meet with President Michael D. Higgins.

ISA Chairman Michael Ryan said, “It was an honour to meet with President Higgins and talk about the work of the Irish Stammering Association.  We were made most welcome by the President and his staff on ISA’s first visit to Áras an Uachtaráin.  We were pleased to be able to share the experiences of people who stammer and the work that ISA carries out to support them.  This invitation underlines the importance that all voices in our society can have a place to be listened to.”

President Michael D. Higgins (seated centre) with Michael Ryan ISA Chair (seated left) and representatives of Irish Stammering Association

President Higgins addressed the group with the following words:

You are all most welcome here today to Áras an Uachtaráin.

I am very grateful to have this valuable opportunity to both commend you for  the important work of the Irish Stammering Association, and to learn more about the issues facing citizens living with a stammer.

This year you marked the 21st anniversary since you were first established. During those twenty one years, the Association has admirably honored your mission to “ provide  a nationally recognised voice for people affected by stammering. “

You have made remarkable strides in raising public awareness of stammering. For example, last month saw Ireland’s eighth National Stammering Awareness Day; a day which brought together an impressive array of expertise to discuss the theme of Education, Cooperation, and Communication.

Throughout the year your work in encouraging self-help groups including Skype groups for teens who stammer, and phone groups for men and women is invaluable, allowing people from all over the country to avail of your important service.

I was also deeply impressed to learn of the camps you organise, including your very successful drama camp, ensuring that the lives of young people  with stammers will not be impoverished by lack of opportunities, or lack of outlets for creative expression.

There can be no doubt that the stigma surrounding those with stammers has reduced significantly in recent years. Today there is greater understanding of the issue and a greatly increased ability to hear beyond the stammer, and to appreciate the important and equal voice of all members of our society.

Parents whose small children stammer are no longer advised to simply ignore the issue, in the hopes that it will ‘go away’.  Those who stammer themselves are less likely to find themselves subjected to the insensitivity that once marked a general ignorance about the condition.

This is all very positive, and the Irish Stammering Association can claim considerable credit for the many encouraging developments we have witnessed in this area.

I am deeply aware, however, that while the landscape has improved for those who stammer, there is still considerable work to be done if real equality is to be achieved for those living with this distressing challenge.

We know, for instance, that early intervention is key to helping the five per cent of children in Ireland who stammer.  But sadly, such intervention can be dependent on which part of the country you live in, with waiting lengths varying and lasting up to a year and a half in some instances.

The lack of availability of services for adults who stammer is an issue of which I am very aware, and is one which must concern any society who wishes to be founded on equality and respect for all. In this regard I must commend your Association for the non therapy support you provide through, for example, your women’s leadership programme which enables the development of a positive self image and recognition of leadership qualities.

There can be no doubt that despite the strides that have been made in creating a more positive environment for citizens living with a stammer, challenges still remain.

It is most helpful to meet with you all today and to learn more about those challenges as we strive to create a society in which all our citizens can flourish and participate and make their individual and important contributions.

So may I thank you for coming here today and for the vital work you do.

 

Presentation Skills course for young people who stammer

Presentation Skills course for young people who stammer

Irish Stammering Association is running a Presentation Skills course for young people who stammer from ages 12 to 18 in Dublin. It will be run in cooperation with the Gaiety School of Acting and will use drama to help them to find the skills to be more confident about speaking in front of a group e.g. answering a question in class or making a presentation.

The course is run over 2 days Sat 21st Nov and Sat 5th Dec from 11am to 2.30pm each day.

Cost is €20 for the 2 days. Financial assistance available.

Contact jl@stammeringireland.ie for more information.

International Stuttering Awareness Day – Budget 2016 response

October 22nd is International Stuttering Awareness Day.  The Irish Stammering Association (ISA) welcomes last week’s Budget 2016 announcement by Minister Howlin that funding will be made available for children’s speech and language therapy services.

Around 5% of children will stammer; a condition characterized by sound repetitions, prolongations and blocks in its early stages. Some children will recover from stammering but around 1% of adults continue to stammer.  Stammering can lead to avoidance of speaking situations, embarrassment, frustration and people not fulfilling their potential; whatever their age.

 

Commenting on the Budget announcement ISA Chairperson Michael Ryan said: “While we welcome increased investment into speech and language therapy services, we note that waiting lists for both assessment and treatment have been problematic around the country for many years. Funding reductions and recruitment embargos have far reaching consequences. Delays in access to services for children who stammer reduce their chances of recovery. Services for adults who stammer are limited or non-existent in many areas; research shows that adults who are supported can contribute more positively to society and to the economy.”

“Irish Stammering Association calls for investment in services to support people who stammer throughout their lives. Services in the early years of stammering offer the best chance of recovery. However, it is also important to offer services for those who are older, to give them the best possible support to their education and employment, allowing them to contribute fully to society,” said Mr Ryan.

 

This year’s theme for International Stuttering Awareness Day is ‘Spread the Word – Education, Cooperation, Communication’.  By working together we can reduce the isolation associated with stuttering and see people who stammer playing a positive role.  Irish Stammering Association will continue to monitor services for children and adults who stutter over the coming months to ensure that those who find it difficult to speak up are still listened to.

National Stammering Awareness Day Schedule 2015

This year’s National Stammering Awareness Day (NSAD) will take place in the Hilton Kilmainham Hotel, Dublin on Saturday 17th October.

The 2015 National Stammering Awareness Day will be in its 9th year and once again it is being kindly sponsored by ‘Speak Soon Communications’ with additional assistance from Irish Stammering Association.  Irish McGuire Programme also provide financial support to the event.

Spread the Word – Education, Cooperation, Communication is this year’s theme. This is a great opportunity for all who are interested in stammering to attend and get involved.  Family & friends are very welcome.  It’s free to attend.

ISA breakout sessions take place for for children (11 a.m.), parents at (1 p.m.) and teens at (2.40 p.m.)
The full schedule is as follows;

10:00 a.m. Welcome – Michael O’Shea & Jonathon Linklater
10:05 a.m. Icebreaker
10:15 a.m. Deirdre McCabe (Person who stutters)
10:30 a.m. Timmy Hammersley (Person who stutters)
10:45 a.m. Ciara Gleeson (Speech and Language Therapist)

11:00 a.m. Tea & coffee break

11:15 a.m. Keynote: Michael Ryan (Chairman, Irish Stammering Association)
11:45 a.m. Cathy Cooling (Person who stutters)
12:00 p.m. Anthony Fowler (Person who stutters)
12:15 p.m. Dominic Sutton (Person who stutters)
12:30 p.m. Keynote: Alan Badmington (Person who stutters)
1:00 p.m. Lunch

2:00 p.m. Ian Hickey (Person who stutters)
2:20 p.m. Keynote: Veronica Lynch (Person who stutters)
2:50 p.m. Keynote: Ciarán Kenny (Speech and Language Therapist)
3:15 p.m. Michael Donnelly (Person who stutters)
3:30 p.m. Jamie Googan (Person who stutters)
3:45 p.m. Keynote: Pamela Mertz (Person who stutters)
4:15 p.m. Open mic
4:25 p.m. Closing comments – Michael O’Shea & Jonathon Linklater
4:30 p.m. Close
Parallel sessions

11:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Breakout room 2: ISAYiT! drama group facilitated by Gaiety School of Acting
1:00 p.m. – 1.45 p.m.
Main Room: ISA Parent Support Network meeting (all parents welcome)
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Breakout room 2 McGuire Programme information session

2:40 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Breakout room 2: ISA teenager session

All talks in main room unless otherwise stated

Walk and Talk Summer 2015

This will be a social gathering and will provide an opportunity for those who stammer, their family and friends, or those with an interest in stammering to Walk and Talk as they take in the stunning views of the Howth Coastal Path. As the group will walk for between 2-3 hours, it is not suitable for children under the age of 10. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.

How do I take part?

Please express your interest in this event before the 13th of September 2015 by contacting mail@stammeringireland.ie

What should I bring?

Please ensure to bring: Walking boots, raingear, snack and fluids.

Please contact mail@stammeringireland.ie for further details.

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