26th October 2020
Stamma trustee Naheem Bashir and former trustee Abed Ahmed hosted The Big Event, a wonderful and inspiring evening which was attended by 163 people. Read more and watch the video below.
The event went out over Zoom on International Stammering Awareness Day (22nd October), and speakers included Musharaf Asghar (Channel 4's Educating Yorkshire), Scottish rugby star and new Stamma Patron Kelly Brown, Claire Norman (founder of the Stammerers Through University Consultancy), Stamma Trustee Lynne Mackie and Patrick Campbell (co-editor of Stammering Pride & Prejudice: Difference Not Defect). Watch it back here:
The Big Event revolved around our campaign Find The Right Words, and the need to change the language we use to talk about stammering. Negative language creates and reinforces negative perceptions, which leads to negative experiences for people who stammer. Words are important as they shape how we see ourselves, how others see us, and the world that we live in. The expectation that we must overcome our stammer prevents public acceptance and understanding that we do stammer. Watch the video below.
It's taught me to realise it's part of who I am, rather than who I would like to be: that is someone who can speak fluently.
Quote from an attendee at The Big Event
The Big Event aimed to challenge the idea that if you stammer you should make every effort not to stammer. With this event, we wanted to emphasise that we stammer, it's how we talk and it's time to accept that. Our speakers provided passionate, insightful and inspiring talks and debate around these themes, supplemented by positive and effusive interaction from our attendees throughout the event.
The event was extremely well received by those who attended. Attendees described the event as inspiring, interesting, collaborative, useful, interactive and fun. 100% of people said they would recommend an event like ours to a person who stammers; 99% of people found the event interesting and informative; and 95% said they will use what they learned at the event in the future.
Here is a selection of what attendees had to say about The Big Event:
"All of the speakers had something unique and interesting to say, not just about their own experiences (which are obviously very interesting), but also the work they are doing, and how we can do better as a society and individuals in accepting stammering as a very normal part of our world."
"It was a very informative evening. Listening to some amazing speakers on their experiences."
"Seeing successful, entertaining, interesting, funny people stammering, without shame."
"I think it would be really empowering to my clients and their parents to hear such eloquent speakers who are not afraid to talk about stammering and openly stammer."
"The experiences of the speakers resonated with me so very much."
"It's taught me to realise it's part of who I am, rather than who I would like to be: that is someone who can speak fluently."
"It's given me more confidence to not worry about what other people perceive in me with my stammer. It is also fantastic to see how much work is going on to highlight stammering in order to help non-stammerers understand."
"I am a speech & language therapist working with some amazing children in the very busy NHS. I think this event is excellent in helping me to re-focus on the impact and bigger picture. The importance of supporting a person's confidence, their well-being as well as their speech and language. The emphasis must always be on individual views, choices and setting goals together for positive outcomes."
If you enjoyed this, watch the other event we put on for ISAD, 'In conversation with authors Margaret Drabble and David Mitchell'.