Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two guys and a show heard around the world......

Good morning everyone. I would like to apologize if I sound out of it right now. Unfortunately as I am posting the latest edition of the blog, I have been infected by a rhinovirus and I feel tired. No one wants to get sick of course, but the weather here on the Island is playing havoc with everyone. I wanted to share with my teammates here and around the world a story about how everyday differences are being made in the stuttering community. From my previous entries, you know that I admire and respect my teammates for their unyielding commitment to helping make the world more understanding of what it's like to be a person who stutters. One teammate for example did an amazing presentation at a local school in upstate New York. But recently, I had the pleasure (and more importantly, the honor) of appearing on a show called "Stuttertalk." For those who aren't familiar with it, "Stuttertalk" is the brainchild of two of my teammates, one of whom is an adjunct professor at Long Island University-Brooklyn. I was a panelist at one of his classes recently, where another one of my NSA teammates was there. "Stuttertalk" is also hosted by a chapter leader from Brooklyn as well. What is so amazing is that every time I listen, there is something new to be learned. It's not just all about the academic developments in the field, although there is no denying that we have come a long way, especially with these new developments with Pacaglone. It's about fresh perspectives. All my teammates at the National Stuttering Association embrace diversity and we come from different areas-big city, small towns-young professionals, older members with families. But I stress this continuously-there is always something to be learned. No matter how old you are, or what your current situation, there are innumerable opportunities to empower yourself and make yourself stronger. When I listen to "Stuttertalk," I often think of "Inside the Actors Studio" on Bravo. You are learning from the masters of their craft about why they feel the way they do about certain things. The teammates at the NSA bring their own views about stuttering and the future of where the new technologies will take us. If you haven't listened to "Stuttertalk," give it a shot. It will be time well spent! My name is Steven Kaufman and I am a person who stutters. Until next time, stand up and be counted. Make your voice heard.

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