We started out the meeting with introductions and then had a great discussion about speech related challenges, in honor of Stuttering Awareness Week. As usual, the discussion turned to other topics which is always entertaining :)
We have received some great responses for our member survey so far. If you ever have a suggestion for a meeting topic or would like to lead a monthly meeting yourself, please let us know! We are open to all ideas! We plan to share the results next month.
We now have an Instagram account! Be sure to follow @pdxnsa. If you are interested in being "spotlighted" on the account, let me know!
Huge shout out to Sulema for getting in front of the entire group to present her research on genetics and stuttering. It was eye opening and extremely informative. Nice work Sulema!!!
We also discussed the topic of Neurodiversity, a concept that comes out of Autism research, which aims at shifting the perspective from impairment to natural variation (simply stated). Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to be emailed a copy.
Jonah mentioned a couple of LinkedIn groups during our discussion as well. Here are those links:
Stuttering at Work - for employees and employers (this is the one Pam from NSA board started a week ago, aims to educate employers and employees alike about stuttering in the workplace.)
Stuttering Professionals (this one has been around for a while, and is aimed at people who stutter)
Also at the meeting, it was announced that we, Sarah and Linda, will be stepping down as chapter leaders in the coming months. It has been an honor to be leading the group for the past (nearly) 3 years. It is simply time to pass the torch onto other deserving souls. We will still very much continue to be a part of the group and will help transition the new chapter leaders into their roles for the next couple of months. Thank you to everyone who has supported our movement to increase our membership and broaden our community involvement during our time as chapter leaders. We will greatly miss the role, but are so excited for what is to come.
On that note, our new chapter co-leaders will be (insert drum roll here)...Jonah and Allie!!!! You may recognise Jonah as the face of PayPal who represented Stuttering in the Workplace in the article we sent out a few weeks ago. He is beginning a crucial involvement with the National office of the NSA for the Stuttering in the Workplace Campaign being put on, so it is a beautiful time of him to take over as co-leader. And everyone who attends meetings knows our sweet, sweet feisty Allie. She may appear sweet and gentle, but she has a fierce side of her that is perfect for our group. Both Jonah and Allie have much needed organizational skills and both offer perspectives that challenge others as well as themselves. I have zero doubt that with the two of them in charge, our group will become even greater.
Finally, due to Spring Break when our numbers are typically quite low, we will be holding our March meeting on the THIRD TUESDAY OF MARCH on 3/19 with the PLACE TBD. We will have that planned by next week and send out the update.
Thanks for reading! See you all in a few weeks!
We had 19 people in attendance at our monthly meeting last Tuesday- including one first-timer, Michael and one out-of-town visitor from NYC, Marc Winski.
We started off the evening by introducing ourself and the time we were associated with the Portland chapter. This led to conversations and laughter, which helped to get the flow going.
John, our resident attorney, brought up an interesting topic about the new courthouse and the ADA accommodations and how that would apply to People who stutter (PWS). We brainstormed several of our proposals - definitely something to think about.
We then moved on to discuss the main topic of the day - How the perception of stuttering has shifted during our lifetime and the impact it had on us choosing our professions. Our out of town visitor, Marc, an actor, discussed his life story and the inner-struggles he had to endure when stuttering interfered with his preferred vocation. Other participants talked about their decisions to chose their professions and how not conversing with people was a significant factor in that decision making process. At the end of the day, almost all of us felt that stuttering played a role in our past life but we have to realize that we can’t let it control our lives any longer. This realization comes to people at various stages of our lives and therein lies our own personal journey.
We also discussed couple of books focused on stuttering during our meeting -
1) “Out with it” by Katherine Preston (https://www.amazon.com/Out-Stuttering-Helped-F…/…/145167659X) and
2) "My brother Moochie" by Issac Bailey (https://www.amazon.com/My-Brother-Moochie-Reg…/…/ref=sr_1_1…) .
Marc was part of “What would you do” ABC series and here is his episode (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOHFS10q2ms)
Thanks to everyone who came out last night for Nicholas and Becca's farewell BBQ/monthly meeting. The food was delicious and the company was excellent.
Tonight 18 of us gathered at McMenamins for our monthly meeting while having dinner and drinks together. Some of us shared an item, picture, or story of significance in regards to our stuttering journeys. One common theme came out of all of it, and that was gratitude. Whether it was for their stutter, a person, or part of the journey, In some shape or form, gratitude was a part of every person's story. Laughter was also a common theme of the night... so much laughter.
Thank you to everyone who came out to our meeting on Tuesday night. What a great turnout we had! 18 of us all gathered and had a great time where we discussed thoughts regarding disclosure/self-advertising. Here are some member comments:
-"During an ice breaker activity, have your “fun fact” be 'I stutter.' It puts nerves at ease because I'm not trying to hide it."
-"Once I say it out loud, I become more fluent."
-"My name is… and then I stutter on purpose."
-"Disclose before you get emotional about it. It’s harder to be matter of fact if you are already upset."
-"I like public speaking-it’s public stuttering that scares me."
-"I didn’t want people to think I was nervous so I say 'I will stutter-I don’t want you to think I am nervous…'"
-"I wait until others comment or ask."
-"Ever since I started talking about it, I started feeling more empowered, and it helped me open up to others."
-"It would have been better for me if I would have disclosed. I wish I would have brought it up."
-"It’s easier for me to talk about stuttering with people I’m just getting to know. It’s going back to people I’ve had relationships with that is hard."
-"By disclosing you start to erase those covert feelings of shame, fear, and guilt. Being upfront and honest has helped me become more confident."
-"I was really shy and now I’m more of an extrovert. It’s something I do, not who I am."
Here is the link to Frank Howarth's youtube video where he demonstrates a humbling, honest disclosure statement. I highly recommend you read through the comments provided by his viewers. Not only did his video create interest and donations to Camp More, but more importantly, the support, love, and awareness it created for Frank and the stuttering community as a whole, is awe-inspiring. www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlMroyUUMfY
Many Portland Chapter NSA members donated to and/or attended the 3rd annual fundraiser for Camp More, an overnight summer camp for kids and teens who stutter. The evenings was filled with great food, friends, drinks, auction items, inspirational speeches, community, and live music thanks to our very own member, Christopher Shotola-Hardt. Portland is an exciting place to be for kids, teens, and adults who stutter.
This evening, we read a story regarding one of our soon-to-be new members, personal story/reflection and then discussed our own stuttering journeys. Here is his story: www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/inspirational-cornishman-talks-coming-terms-1347502