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What a few Words of Support Can Do

Skip BrooksBranden "Skip" Brooks with
Beau Biden in 2008

Branden Brooks was a shy 8th grader with a stutter when his class visited the White House twenty years ago. He bravely put up his hand to ask Senator (before he was Vice-President) Joe Biden a question during a Q&A session. Biden stuttered in his youth, and approached Branden afterwards to give him some words of support, and later sent him a personal letter. Today Branden is a practicing lawyer, and in 2008 was sworn in by no other than Joe Biden's son Beau, who tragically died of brain cancer this year. Branden says that Joe Biden's words and letter always inspired him. Read more about this story here.

Orange is the New Black: Stuttering and Mutism

OITHBNote: This article contains spoiler info for episode 7, “Tongue Tied”, but not for subsequent episodes. 

The popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black, about an upper middle-class woman serving time in prison for drug smuggling, is now in its third year. This season the character of Norma, (played by Annie Golden) was introduced, an older woman who refuses to speak.  The 7th episode, entitled “Tongue Tied”, reveals some of her past. Norma is in prison for murder and she does not speak because she is a person who stutters.

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Ottawa Race Weekend: Remembering Norm

Norm and friends at the 2012 eventNorm McEwen (top) and team members at
the 2012 Ottawa Race Weekend.

Standing tall among others, Norm McEwen was a long time advocate for people who stutter in Ottawa and across Canada.  For years he was a Board member of the Canadian Stuttering Association, and a founding member of the Ottawa Association of People Who Stutter (OAPWS). Also, for many years Norm, other OAPWS members and a team at the Rehab Clinic in Ottawa took part in the Ottawa Race Weekend under the banner of the Ottawa Hospital’s Run For A Reason campaign.

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CSA Annual General Meeting, March 28

All Canadian Stuttering Association members are invited to our AGM and introductory workshop on Saturday March 28 at 1pm in Toronto, Ontario at Metro Hall, King and John Streets. So we can know how many to expect, please register in advance for this event.

Before the meeting, there is a special event at 10:00 am with guest speaker Margo Gouley of the Humphrey Group. She will lead this interactive workshop "Speaking as a Leader." There is no charge for either event, but please register.

There’s much to get involved in and we welcome your ideas, particularly on the possibility of another mini-confernece in Toronto this year and a CSA national conference next year.

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