MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Stuttering Foundation has announced the creation of a free identification card available to those who stutter.
It is designed to help them identify themselves in a nonverbal way as someone who may have trouble speaking. The ID card is available in two downloadable formats on the foundation’s website at www.StutteringHelp.org.
“We hope our free ‘I Stutter’ card finds a place in the wallet, purse or backpack of every person who stutters,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “It is designed to help people educate those who are not familiar with this complex disorder.”
The card was created in response to a recent incident involving Kylah Simmons, a U.S. citizen returning home through the Atlanta airport after studying abroad. According to media reports, Simmons, a person who stutters, was questioned repeatedly about her stutter by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent. According to reports, Simmons was repeatedly told by the agent that she was “lying” about her stutter.
“I looked him in the eyes and explained to him that my disability was not a problem but was simply a personal challenge for me that makes it difficult for me to communicate … I was continuously told that I was lying and that I was being dishonest. All my life, I have been bullied and silenced because of my stutter. I felt silenced today,” said Simmons.
Simmons worked with the foundation to make the card available to the 70 million people worldwide who stutter.
“When questioned by someone in authority, we all may have difficulty maintaining our fluency. For someone who stutters, it can be a much greater challenge. We hope this tool will make a difference,” added Fraser.