We need to hear and see people who stammer on TV & radio all year round, not just a day.

We need to hear and see people who stammer on TV & radio all year round, not just a day.

5 October 2021
Petition to
Cerrie Burnell (BBC) and 12 others
Signatures: 25,699Next Goal: 35,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by STAMMA

Imagine growing up in a world where stammering voices are frequently heard on the TV and radio. Where people who stammer and those who don't are used to hearing stammering voices and aren't surprised by it.

That won’t happen unless and until all our media embrace the fact that stammering voices, like different accents, need to be heard on TV and on the radio.

We call upon all of our media channels to ensure that people who stammer are represented in our media spaces.

To commit to ensuring that you have the policies, procedures and messages in place to encourage those who stammer to take a full part in producing and appearing on your programmes. On the news, in soaps, in chat shows, as experts.

All you need to do is actively encourage and platform our voices and allow extra time for us to finish.

Stammering is how some people talk. It has nothing to do with intelligence or articulacy. Between 50-70 million people around the world stammer, from the President of the USA down. 8% of children will stammer at some point, and between 1-3% of adults say that they stammer.

Stammering isn’t that unusual, but you wouldn’t know that based on how few people we hear stammer on the radio or television.

Indeed for many, the only time they see people stammering on TV is Joe Biden, A Fish Called Wanda, The King’s Speech and Open All Hours.

This is unacceptable. It doesn’t reflect the real world where so many people stammer. It makes people who stammer feel isolated and unseen, or even ashamed and feeling the need to hide their stammer. It also  means that people who don’t stammer don’t know what to do or how to react when they meet someone who does. This stigma, impacting people from the very start of their lives, affects mental health and career prospects, and results in a real loss of talent on every career path, every industry.

End this and include people who stammer routinely in your programming, because diversity includes disfluency.

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Signatures: 25,699Next Goal: 35,000
Support now