Today is the 22nd of October. International Stuttering Awareness Day. A day on which people all around the world bring stuttering to the attention of others by telling stories, organizing events, and talking openly about their speech. For many, this involves engaging with hugely challenging activities; interviews for radio, television, or newspapers, addressing people during online conferences, or writing about past and present experiences.
At BeneTalk, half of the team are people who stutter, stuttering is the one constant in a constantly changing work environment. This year, members of the BeneTalk team have been involved in many workshops, conferences, and events where they have spoken openly about stuttering. It is important to do so and contribute to the efforts made by many others in the community.
As is the case for the majority, 2020 has been extremely challenging, however, much has been achieved. BeneTalk completed a small scale trial with the University of Reading that provided speech therapy to 18 people who stutter from around the world. For some of these people, this was the first time they had spoken to a speech therapist or another person who stutters, an important milestone. These participants will now be the first to receive the new version of the BeneTalk app, which BeneTalk will continue to work hard on to improve. This research is ongoing and the team is in the process of beginning a new study with more than 30 participants who stutter. In addition to this, BeneTalk and the University of Reading have been awarded another grant from Innovate UK to fund 12 months of intense research and design that will seek to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of speech therapy for those who want it.
If you are interested in helping BeneTalk’s mission, the team would love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get access to BeneTalk Beta app, whether you are a person who stammers or not (any feedback and data collected are valuable).
The BeneTalk Team is excited to see what this next year has in store for them and for others in the community. Let’s keep talking!