Visit BSA's new blog. It'll tell you something about the BSA – what we do, how we do it, stories we encounter, stories that move us. Perhaps it will also make us think about the everyday stuff we do, take for granted, and don’t realise we never told anyone we’re doing them.
Have you heard of STUC? The Stammering through University Campaign? It's the brainchild of Claire Norman, a young graduate who stammers, and who went through her course realising that there's a big hole at her University where stammering awareness and support ought to be. So she secured a grant to start her own social enterprise to ensure that everyone at Britain's Universities is clued up about stammering and able to get support. That's "everyone" as in students, lecturers, non-academic staff, cleaners, caterers, you name it. She's already got Warwick and Newcastle Universities signed up, held her first Focus group, and is developing the first Action Plan. All of that on top of finishing her degree, finding work, moving house and starting her new job on Monday!
The Employers Stammering Network has as its ultimate goal to change the world of employment for people who stammer - better support, less prejudice and equal chances. ESN and STUC seemed like a perfect fit to learn more about each other - University leads (hopefully) to employment, and as STUC is also concerned about people employed by the Universities there are areas where we may well overlap. Young people who stammer can find it particularly difficult to secure their first job - and if we can point them to employers who are clued up about stammering and have recruitment policies in place it's a win-win for the students but also for the employers who have access to a pool of talented people. So we had a meeting kindly hosted at EY (formerly Ernst and Young) between Iain Wilkie (Co-Chair, ESN), Ricky Vachhani (Co-Chair, EY Stammering Network), myself and Claire to get to know each other a bit better and see where we can support each other.
STUC is such an excellent model because it's run by Claire who can draw on BSA and ESN support and expertise when required - but it is separate of the BSA. It's that 'get up and go', 'let's do something about this' spirit which demonstrates that people who stammer can easily excel in roles that demand leadership. It's also an excellent demonstration of how BSA, with its limited resources, can act as a catalyst and support to help get initiatives like STUC off the ground.
... about stammering.
But this one will be different! And fabulous! It will hopefully make you think, rethink, consider, reconsider. It may well irritate you, too. It'll be opinionated. You'll be glad to hear it won't just be my opinion, though: guest bloggers are most welcome!
It'll tell you something about the BSA – what we do, how we do it, stories we encounter, stories that move us. Perhaps it will also make us think about the everyday stuff we do, take for granted, and don’t realise we never told anyone we’re doing them. But it will also be a place to tell stories, happy stories or not so happy ones, a place for musings as well as a place for humour.
It's the BSA Blog and it may come as no surprise that BSA has views on things. Or, rather, “Views™ on Things”. All views on stammering can be valid for the person who stammers who’s holding them but they can’t all be equal – equally accurate, equally evidenced, or equally helpful.
BSA is required to ensure we provide views and information on stammering that are accurate, evidenced (where possible) and helpful. We don’t always get this right, to be honest, but where we don’t we ought to be called out and held to account.
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