Thursday, September 29, 2022

Is Stuttering A Disability Under The Ada

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Stuttering People Face Employment Discrimination

Workplace Accommodations for Employees who Stutter WEBINAR

According to the chair of the National Stuttering Association Advocacy Committee, people with this disorder are not seen as a perfect fit for the workplace, and thus they are subjected to discrimination.

Every organization tends to hire an individual who is blessed with perfect communication skills. It should not come as a surprise that people who stutter are rejected right away after their first interview. Moreover, people who stutter have a higher chance of suffering from nervous breakdown when they compete against competitors as they might lack confidence while speaking.

As A Stutterer Why Should I Be Interested In The Ada

Recent amendments have broadened the scope of the ADA. If there was any doubt that stuttering was a disability under the ADA, these amendments may change that. The statutory language is encouraging, although these amendments are so new that they have not yet been tested in the courts.These amendments became effective on January 1, 2009. While it is unclear whether these amendments would be retroactively applied to claims concerning conduct that occurred before that date, it is unlikely.

Stuttering A Disability Under Ada

The Americans With Disabilities Act is the most comprehensive legal document that addresses the rights of people with disabilities. This law was promulgated way back in 1990. It was amended in 2008 to protect the rights of disabled people. According to ADA, it is unfair to subject anyone to discrimination based on any disorder, when it comes to employment, access to health services, voting, and access to public services.

In simple words, according to ADA disability is something that damages a major life function such as walking, breathing, and others. Is it fair to consider stuttering as a major life function? Well, in Stuttering: An Integrated Approach to its Nature and Treatment, the author has claimed that severe stuttering can cause an individual to lose confidence. Due to stuttering, it becomes difficult for the person to communicate effectively at school, job, in public, and even on the phone.

It is important to note that stuttering fulfills the definition of psychological disorder. It means that stuttering harms the speech organs and due to this problem, a person is unable to participate in major life activities.

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Talk About Your Stuttering

Another interview lasted about two minutes. The interviewer found an excuse to say I was not qualified for the jobso good-bye. I protested, asked for the technical interview and was asked to leave. As his excuse was plainly made upthis was also probably a case of discrimination.

Begin the interview by talking about your stuttering. You may only get two minutes if you dont!

Whether youre looking for a job or already have a job, talk about your stuttering. Many people feel uncomfortable talking to a person who stutters. Educate them about stuttering to make them feel comfortable.

Some people make incorrect assumptions about individuals who stutter. For example, some people think that individuals who stutter are mentally retardedeven if you have a Ph.D.!

Excellent communication skills is the #1 qualification employers look for. Say that you have excellent communication skills. Give concrete examples:

Membership in Toastmasters International proves that you have excellent communication skills. Toastmasters gives out lots of awards, so bring the ribbons youve won for your speeches.

Communication is a two-way street. Say that you may not speak as well as other people, but you listen more carefully. Demonstrate that by not interrupting the interviewer, and by rephrasing and repeating back his questions. Ask the interviewer whether listening or speaking is more important in the jobtheyll always say that listening is more important.

Stuttering As A Perceived Disability

Is stuttering a disability? Stuttering, employment ...

According to studies, stuttering does qualify as a psychological condition and a physical condition that affects the speech organs mainly making the suffering person unable to perform the function of communication properly. At times it may hinder the work performance of an individual as well restricting the sufferer from working as well.

Stuttering or stammering is considered an impairment and is also perceived as a disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act . An advocacy group presented a judgment stating that stuttering is a legal disability but it can provoke suffering individuals who might present a very negative reaction after being called disable, the term disability usually demeans a person and can have adverse effects on a persons mental health.

Stuttering is considered a disability in many countries across the globe but it is not called a disability openly to prevent provoking the suffering individuals. The term disability also makes it difficult for individuals to perform in the workplace as it invites discrimination and harsh working conditions.

It has been noted that disabled people face employment discrimination at the hands of their employers and are not considered equal to normal individuals. This may lead to the stutter losing confidence in oneself provided that there is no known treatment for stuttering.

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The Case Of The Disfluent Weatherman

“I was asked to supply expert testimony and did so by reviewing thescientific literature showing a cleat tendency for listeners to makefalse judgments about stutterers, and employers in particular. Atelling piece of evidence for this case came from a study in which itwas shown that the personality characteristics that nonstutterersattribute to people who stutter are based on the feeling that thenonstutterers fell when they are hesitant, or stumble, in their speech Qnervousness and uncertainty primarily. We were able to argue that, inthe case of the weatherman seeking promotion, the supervisor had madejust such an error concluding from his speech pattern that he wasuncertain because she stumbled in her speech when shefelt uncertain. Upon presentation of this testimony, the case wassettled and the man promoted. “

Stereotyping Attached To Stuttering

The National Stuttering Association Advocacy Committee stated that countless researches in a different part of the world over different age groups suffering from stuttering and stammering have confirmed that they adhere to negative stereotypical behavior from different people at any given stage of life resulting in harming their mental peace as well as demotivating them to continue with their life.

These stereotype notations are widely attributed to stutters such as nervousness, panic and anxiety, anxiousness, tension, fear, quietness, shyness, reticence, and guarding themselves against an invisible rush of emotions.

The stigma attached to these individuals is a crude and harsh face of society and it cannot be changed resulting in the stammering individuals to suffer in almost every phase of life.

Stuttering is not just a speech issue, is stuttering a disability? Yes, it is and at times a disability that lasts a lifetime.

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Make Room For The Stuttering

On Sunday July 26, 2020 I had the privilege and opportunity to host a webinar with several influential people in the stuttering community. Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the American with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in the USA on July 26, 1990.

We used the webinar as a platform to share that people who stutter can be protected from exclusion or discrimination in our workplaces, schools and communities. A key focal point is that we who stutter have to feel OK with using the word Disability when we talk about our stuttering. Full disclosure allows us to then ask for and receive accommodations so that we can be fully included and have equitable opportunities.

This webinar was hosted by the National Stuttering Associations innovative We Stutter @ Work program.

If you missed us live, here is the recording. Check it out its great stuff.

Is Stuttering A Disability Read On

Joey Stoyas-Americans with Disabilities Act Case

The Americans With Disabilities Act states that stuttering is a disability. It limits a persons ability to perform a major life activity, such as speaking or communicating. The government considers stuttering a form of speech disorder. It may impact a persons ability to work, study, or socialize. As such, it can cause a person to feel embarrassed and frustrated.

Under the ADA, stuttering does not qualify as a disability. However, it does meet the definition of a physiological disorder because it affects the bodys speech organs and limits a persons ability to communicate or work. The Act also covers perceived disabilities, meaning that stuttering may negatively impact the ability to do certain tasks or participate in certain activities. Read on here more myths about stuttering problem.

In order for stuttering to be considered a disability, a person must demonstrate that the condition is affecting their ability to perform the essential functions of life. This means that a person who has a stuttering disorder must take steps to compensate for this disability, including addressing the underlying causes of stuttering. This means that they must not avoid situations because they are afraid of having a stuttering problem.

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Stuttering Employment Job Interviews And The Ada

I am 21 years old. Recently, I graduated from my third college course and still no job. Interviews come by the dozens but job offers are none! I am a Pharmacy Assistant Health Care Aide plus a medical transcriptionist, but after all the years in school and all the money spent on education, I am still unable to find work! Am I to live in poverty because people only see me at my worst?

Interviews for me are a horrid experience. Ive had people pick up a newspaper and start reading it, waiting for me to get out of a block. All the interviewers act as if Im wasting their time. Its more like theyre wasting mine.

If people could only see me when I am fluent Im sure I would have a job. On interviews I find myself apologizing for my speechbut why do I?

Is there anyone out there who is experiencing the same problems? I need help to cope.

Graduate students in my stuttering class indicated that they would prefer to hire someone who was deaf or someone with moderate cerebral palsy rather than someone who stuttered. Interestingly, several of the employers who said they would not hire a stutterer had one or more stutterers already working for them.

When we probed to understand the WHY behind the employers responses, we learned that essentially they thought they understood deafness and cerebral palsy, but stuttering was strangeand they assumed that persons who stutter were strange.

Stuttering Is Stuttering A Disability

Generally speaking, stuttering is not a disability. It is a condition that limits a persons ability to perform a major activity of daily living. As such, it is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act . However, some people may feel that stuttering is not a real disability because they are ashamed of their condition. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a persons ability to perform one or more essential activities of daily living.

The cause of fluency disorder is unclear, although brain imaging tools have been useful in studying the disorder. In some families, mutations in four genes have been linked to stuttering. It is estimated that 50-70% of stuttering is genetic. As such, stuttering is not considered a disability under the ADA. Despite its difficulty in speaking, it has been proven that the disorder is a major cause of social isolation and social rejection.

While there is no known cause for stuttering, researchers have been able to study it using brain imaging tools. They have found that four genes are associated with stuttering within families. Approximately 50-70% of stuttering is genetic, but the cause of stuttering is unknown. Under the ADA, stuttering is not a disability.

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Free Money From The Irs If You Stutter

The Tax Credit for Small Business credits smaller employers for half the cost of “eligible accessexpenditures” .

The software company buys Mark a $500 electronic fluency aid, and theIRS gives them $250 back in a tax credit.

The Targeted Jobs Tax Credit Program gives tax credits to employers whohire individuals with disabilities. The IRS will give your employer upto $2400 for hiring you.

The IRS allows you to deduct medical expenses, including specialequipment, provided you itemize deductions on Schedule A, and your totalmedical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

There are many other sources of third-party payment for stutteringtherapy and equipment:

  • California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Montana mandate telephonecompanies to provide equipment for individuals with disabilities to talkon telephones, for free or low cost.
  • If you are unemployed, your state vocational rehabilitation programmay pay for therapy and/or equipment.
  • Some insurance companies pay for speech therapy and/or equipment.Many, however, exclude stuttering.
  • Low-income children who stutter may qualify for federal SupplementalSecurity Income.

Details are available in the Americans With Disabilities Act ResourceDirectory and in the Pocket Guide to Federal Help for Individuals withDisabilities .

How Remote Work Has Magnified Discrimination Against People Who Stutter

Disability Law

People who stutter have long been the target of discrimination and harassment. Far too common are the stories of being rejected for the customer-facing job or the lead part in the school play. Turns out, you can even become President of the United States and still have stuttering used against you. Now, with the pandemic-driven shift to virtual communication platforms and remote learning, the risks of discrimination have only increased.

Discrimination on the basis of stuttering, like other disabilities, is prohibited by multiple anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans With Disabilities Act. Nevertheless, many appear unaware or unaccepting of the laws, and too few people who stutter have exercised their rights within the legal system. This needs to change.

As many as 1 in 10 children stutter for some period of their lives. And while many grow out of it, approximately 25% continue to stutter as adults. In total, nearly 3 million American adults stutter, including me. Stuttering is a communication disorder involving disruptions in a persons speech, often characterized by repetitions or prolongations of sounds, as well as blocks, or the absence of sound. Researchers believe it is caused by some combination of genetics, language development and environmental factors. There is no cure for stuttering.

Getty image by insta_photos.

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What Joe Bidens Speech Disorder Means For Young Americans With Disabilities

Joey, don’t let this define you. Joey, remember who you are. Joey, you can do it, saidCatherine Eugenia Biden to her young, stuttering son every time he would walk out. Little did she know that this young man would conquer more than just his speech disorder.

He would be slated to become the 46th President of the United States of America.

But it is not merely this electoral win that validates his success story. President or not, it is Joe Bidens resilience that positions him as a hope for young Americans with disabilities.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, roughly 3M Americans stutter. Five to ten percent of all children will experience stuttering at some stage in their lives. The condition may persist, ranging from weeks to years. Nearly 25% of the children never outgrow stuttering. Research suggests that stuttering may acutely impact self-esteem, confidence, career potential and relationships.

A World Where People Who Stutter Are Misunderstood

In , Biden shared his own lifelong struggle to overcome his stutter. This was not the first time he vocalized this challenge.

Joe Biden tweets about his lifelong work to overcome his stutter and his effort to mentor kids who … have experienced the same.

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In 2015, he wrote a letter to the Stuttering Foundation of America. I personally understand the terrible fear and frustration of a stutter, he said, in a world where people who stutter are misunderstood.

Is Stuttering A Reason Not To Hire Someone

In Above The Law, I ask in my new article Is Stuttering A Reason Not To Hire Someone?

Stuttering is more than just a speech issue it may also be an employment issue, since the workplace is a microcosm of society and shares its issues. Communicating is, after all, a human activity that takes place everywhere including on the job.

Is stuttering a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act ? And can a person who stutters be refused a job or fired?

Read the entire article here. Read all of my Above The Lawarticles here.

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Is Stammering A Disability

Some people see their stammer as a disability and some don’t. What is the legal position?

Some have strong reactions to stammering being labelled as a disability. Regardless of how ‘severe’ their stammer is, this may not be a disabling issue for them, or they may not wish to be defined as having a disability. For others, their stammering is profoundly disabling.

The Equality Act 2010 says that a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which ‘has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

Substantial means anything more than minor or trivial, and long-term means anything lasting longer than a year. Normal activities can mean answering the phone, asking for a coffee or buying a ticket and can also refer to situations such as giving a presentation or attending an interview. Read more about the Equality Act 2010.

Even if a person’s stammer is not obvious, the definition may hold as the person could be using a range of avoidance strategies to hide their stammer. For example, they might not be able to use the phone or contribute in meetings, which are considered day-to-day activities.

We dont expect people to hide their differences, yet many people who stammer feel deeply ashamed of their stammering.

Is stammering a medical condition which needs ‘managing’ or is it a difference we need to learn to accept? Is it a disability, something to be ‘cured’ or medically managed?

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