The Stammerers Through University Campaign (or ‘STUC’ - emphasising the possible feeling of being trapped by having a disability) aims to go into universities as a way for those who are affected by stammering to attend a seminar in a non-judgemental, supportive environment. These will be attended by a combination of University stammerers, lecturers, counsellors, anyone with an interest in stammering as well as any psychologists from Universities who are researching the notion of stammering. In this way, a range of personnel will be available to discuss the issues and offer responses from different perspectives. By doing this, the idea of bringing together university students, staff and personnel who stammer will create a group of individuals who can, as a collective, discuss and examine issues and possible resolutions.
A focus group will be held at each participating university to identify areas of concern; the outcomes of which are subsequently collated and revised, then used to determine what shall be discussed at the seminar. Examples of issues raised in the first focus group included:
o What can be done to help stammerers during their introduction (e.g.the first fortnight of their first year)
o Ways in which awareness of stammering within the university environment can be raised
o How the Students' Union of the university in question can become involved
o How certain aspects of university life could be altered in order to ease the impact, e.g. assessment.
o How current university students and/or alumni have overcome/are overcoming this obstacle.
The seminar will then be held at the participating university a few months later, in the hope that it will achieve the aims for which STUC strives.
A Stammerer Says...
Hello! I'm Claire Norman, a twenty-four year old University of Warwick graduate. I have had a stammer since the age of five and am certain that this has affected many aspects of my life; from socialising, to participation at school and university, to general telephone use. Speech and Language Therapy in its many forms, I have found, have not been hugely beneficial, and so by the time it came to entering the university lifestyle I was increasingly concerned about the challenges I would face. I read French Studies BA (Hons) at the University of Warwick from 2010 to 2014 and felt that this was a brave decision for a stammerer, because of the Year Abroad placement and French Oral segments of the four-year course. It was at the start of the second term of my final year, in January 2014, that I noticed a gap in the 'market' of support for stammerers. I found a lack of resources available for stammerers who are students, whereas children, teenagers and adults who stammer could easily find advice. I decided, therefore, to fill this gap by creating a support campaign that would help university students who stammer, which I would have found invaluable had it been in existence during my university studies. With the financial assistance from the University of Warwick's Social Enterprise Award and practical support from some Trustees of the British Stammering Association, STUC (Stammerers Through University Campaign) was born.
Why should my university become a Partner?
In short, as a university, becoming a Partner of STUC would mean that you would be named as such on the Partners page, as well as in any future mentions at meetings or via social media. As a Partner, you will have given me permission to put my plan (see above) into place; holding a focus group and subsequent seminar on campus or relevant location.
As a student or staff member, your university becoming a Partner of STUC would allow me to support you are your fellow stammerers through your degree and career respectively at your institution. As attendees of the focus group and seminar, you will have a large say in the focus group's report and thus the plan action regarding what your university can do to offer more support.
If you would like to proceed with your university becoming a Partner, please contact me.