The Canadian Stuttering Association is a national, volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization that promotes awareness and understanding of stuttering and provides support and resources for people who stutter, their families and allies, with a view to helping persons who stutter live as effectively as possible with their stutter and to achieve their full personal and professional potential.
To be seen as a national leader in building a connected network of support and awareness for people who stutter throughout Canada.
The Canadian Stuttering Association is run entirely by the passion, energy and commitment of volunteers, most of whom are people who stutter. Please join today! People who stutter, parents, speech language pathologists as well as support groups and treatment centres can be members.
In April of 2019 David Stones, former CSA Board Member, current Advisory Board Member and seasoned Strategic Planner, with the help of his business associate Gail Tolley, led the CSA Board Directors in an all day strategic planning session with the purpose of developing a Strategic Plan for the CSA. Together we analyzed the meaning and value of our existence as an association, reviewed some of the hopes and dreams that we had suggested for the CSA over the next 5 years, and determined how we could possibly turn those into actual results. You can download the document here.
The Canadian Stuttering Association is a registered charity and a federal not-for-profit corporation.
CRA charity number: 830606943RC0001 Corporation number: 429745-8
The purpose of the Canadian Stuttering Association’s Conferences, Meetings and Events is to provide a safe place for people who stutter to share experiences, learn, help each other cope with the daily challenges of stuttering, be motivated, communicate, network, socialize and be entertained.
It is imperative to ensure that all participants in our conferences, meetings and events can freely and openly share ideas in a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment that encourages and inspires mutual respect and collaboration. The Canadian Stuttering Association Conference, Meeting and Events Conduct Statement states our shared ideals with respect to conduct. It is a way to communicate our existing values to the entire community.
We respect all points of view regarding stuttering and personal choices.
One of the greatest strengths of the CSA community is our inclusiveness. Making all attendees feel welcome and included is everyone’s job, including volunteers, presenters, exhibitors and sponsors. Be considerate.
CSA conferences, meetings and events attract diverse people from a wide variety of ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. We acknowledge that cross-cultural communication can often be complicated and encourage everyone to consider both the impact of their actions on those with different backgrounds and experiences. All participants should be sensitive to the possibility of misunderstandings based on differing experiences and backgrounds.
Sponsors, volunteers, speakers, attendees, and other participants should strive to treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of their culture, religion, physical appearance, disability, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
People are encouraged to take responsibility for their words and actions and listen to constructivelypresented criticism with an open mind, courtesy, and respect. If and when misunderstandings occur, we encourage individuals to first try to resolve conflicts between themselves in a constructive manner, asking for help when needed. This approach gives people more control over the outcome of their dispute.
If people are unable to work out issues between themselves, they are encouraged to seek the advice of a mutually trusted third party or a person on the contact list to help mediate.
We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. If you feel threatened or violated as a result of intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct, please immediately notify a person on the contact list. Likewise, please immediately notify a person on the contact list if you notice that someone else is being subjected to such behavior. If the matter is especially urgent, please call 911. The CSA Board of Directors wants everyone to feel safe for the duration of the conference, meeting or event.
The CSA Board of Directors and/or Volunteers can be identified by their name badges, and will help participants contact local law enforcement, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference.
We expect participants to follow these guidelines at all conference, meeting or event venues and related social events.
Thanks for making our conferences, meetings and events awesome for everyone! The Canadian Stuttering Association Conference, Meetings and Events Conduct Statement is adapted from the draft DrupalCon Code of Conduct, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) and is available for others to use and adapt for their own events.
CSA National Coordinator and Chair Eeva Stierwalt: cell 519-636-776
CSA Conference Events Coordinator Dan Leca: cell 647-801-7338
CSA Conference Program Coordinator Casey Kennedy: cell 647-865-7703
Support Group Leader:
Regional Support Group Coordinator Lauren Linkie: cell 604-910-4336
CSA National Coordinator and Chair Eeva Stierwalt: cell 519-636-7767
In August of 1991, a ground-breaking conference took place in Banff, Alberta. Initiated by leaders of support groups from Toronto and Edmonton, it brought together people who stutter from across Canada, as well as speech-language pathologists and family members. Out of this conference came the Canadian Association for People who Stutter (CAPS), later to be renamed the Canadian Stuttering Association.
The Canadian Stuttering Association is a national, volunteer driven, not-for-profit organization that promotes awareness of stuttering and provides support for people who stutter and their families, with a view to helping stutterers deal as effectively as possible with their stutter and to achieve their full personal and professional potential.
be a reliable source of information and support for Canadian stutterers and their families, and to be seen as a credible, “go to” organization for media and the general public seeking information about stuttering.
The CSA is a small group of volunteers who devote their time to the cause of helping other people who stutter by providing information and offering support.
Eeva Stierwalt, London, ON - National Coordinator
Lisa Wilder, Toronto, ON - Webmaster, Editor
Carla Di Domenicantonio, Burlington, ON - SLP Liaison
Arun Khanna, Toronto, ON - Finances
Catherine Moroney, California, USA - Secretary
Alexandra D'Agostino, London, ON - Family and Children’s Programming Coordinator
Anna Huynh, Toronto, ON - Fundraising Coordinator
Michelle Weinshtein, Toronto, ON - Social Mediaa Coordinator
Lauren Linkie, Vancouver, BC
Dennis Potharst, Halifax, NS - Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Nathan Rattansey, Toronto, ON - Regional Support Coordinator
Suhail Ravjani - Volunteer Coordinator
Daniele Rossi, Toronto, ON
Jaan Pill, Toronto, ON
David Stones, Stratford, ON
Casey Kennedy, Toronto, ON
Get to Know the Volunteers at the Canadian Stuttering Association!
The Canadian Stuttering Association is entirely run by our motivated, committed and compassionate volunteers. Here are a few words from our volunteers about who they are and what the Canadian Stuttering Association means to them.
A few words about Eeva:
Eeva's daughter, Alexandra D'Agostino, is a person who stutters and has been on the CSA board of directors and the conference planning committee for two years. Providing support for Alexandra over the years has given Eeva a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by people who stutter. Previously Eeva has worked as a long-time volunteer on the Steering Committee of the Innovative Interfaces Inc. Users Group, an international organization with university, public, special and school libraries as members. She lives in London, Ontario.
A few words from Lisa:
I got involved with CSA when I helped out with the National conference in 2007, as I had fond memories of the conferences I attended in the 1990s. A lot of people who stutter are reluctant to get involved in support groups, but it can be a life-changer. That's why the conferences are, to me, the most important thing we do, enabling real-life encounters with other people who stutter. I think it's remarkable that CSA has been around for so long purely on the dedication of volunteers. I am currently self-employed and work as a graphic designer and content marketing specialist. I've also been known to fiddle around painting, writing, reading, taking dance lessons and doing yoga.
A few words from Alexandra:
My name is Alexandra D’Agostino and I have stuttered since I was 7. I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a BA Combined Honours in Psychology and Anthropology in 2017, and am now a soon to be graduate of the Nipissing University Nursing Scholar Practitioner Program. Music is one of my passions, (I play 7 instruments!), as well as helping people and volunteering. I have spent 5 years volunteering with the National Stuttering Association in the United States, where I spent 3 of those years serving on their Teen Advisory Council. When I was invited to be on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Stuttering Association in 2014, I was thrilled to be able to volunteer with an association that was closer to home. Being on the Board of Directors has been such an extraordinary, and honouring experience to have had the opportunity to help revitalize the CSA from the ground up. By volunteering with the CSA and NSA, I hope to change other people’s lives, as the two stuttering associations did for me.
A few words about Anna:
Anna Huynh is currently studying Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) at the University of Toronto. Being a person who stutters, she is passionate about supporting people with communication disorders. She is the President of Hear2Speak, a not-for-profit organization that supports speech-language and hearing healthcare, and is actively involved in SLP research. Anna is excited to be serving as the Fundraising Coordinator for the CSA. She is looking forward to getting to know everyone in the stuttering community!
A few words about Arun:
Arun has been involved with the CSA for almost thirty years. He handles financial matters and conference planning.
A few words from Lauren:
My first introduction to the stuttering community was at the annual CSA conference in 2014 while a graduate student of the University of Toronto Speech-Language Pathology program. The conference inspired my interest in stuttering and since that time I have travelled across North America and Europe to learn how to be a better ally and advocate for people who stutter. I feel privileged to have made many friends in the community and I am excited to play a small role in developing the CSA as a resource for connecting and supporting people who stutter. In my free time you can catch me with coffee and a book or listening to live music in Vancouver, BC.
I won’t be running support groups myself, but will be helping and supporting those interested in starting up and running support groups across the country, as I develop this new role on the CSA Board.
A few words from Carla:
I developed an interest in working with people who stutter following graduation from Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto, which within a short time led me to seek a position dedicated to helping children, adolescents and adults who stutter. SpeakEasy Canada and the National Stuttering Project, two North American self-help and support organizations of the time, opened my eyes to the ‘real world experience’ of being a person who stutters, at home, work, play, and, most importantly, in therapy. The impact on my approach to stuttering therapy was profound. As the SLP Liaison for the CSA, I hope to bring the same ‘enlightenment’ that I gained many years ago to new and established Speech-Language Pathologists and speech-language pathology students across Canada, so that they, too, may feel better equipped to work with individuals who stutter, and perhaps even uncover a passion for working in this area. In addition to the CSA Board, I proudly represent Canada as a member of the International Cluttering Association and the Lidcombe Trainers Consortium.
A few words about Catherine:
Catherine has stuttered all of her life and fully expects to continue to do so. She’s been active in the stuttering community (both in Canada and the US) for over 20 years and loves going to conferences to stay up and drink and talk all night long where there’s no worry about when that next block is going to strike and spoil the punchline. In her professional life, she’s a physicist and software engineer working for NASA on analyzing satellite data. She grew up and went to school in Montreal and Toronto and despite living in the US for many years, considers Canada to be home although she refuses to be dragged into a Montreal vs. Toronto flame-war!
A few words about Dennis:
Dennis joined the Canadian Stuttering Association in March 2020 and is a person who stutters since he was a child. As a marketing and communications professional, he enjoys using the written and spoken word to express thoughts, ideas, and concepts, and is eager to contribute to the many projects undertaken by the CSA. He is honoured to join the Board and is excited to help raise the profile of the CSA both regionally and nationally. Born in Sudbury, ON and raised in Calgary, AB, Dennis now calls Halifax, NS home.
A few words from Nathan:
A few words about Michelle:
Michelle Weinshtein is an undergraduate student in her final year at Western University for Medical Sciences. She attended her first CSA conference in 2019 and was granted the CSA Scholarship for a student who stutters. She was quickly invited on the board in 2020 as the Social Media Coordinator. Michelle hopes to continue her studies in the health & wellness field, with a general goal in making a profound difference in an individual’s life. When she isn’t busy studying- she enjoys reading, meditating, and going on walks.
A few words from Suhail:
My name is Suhail Ravjani and I have stuttered, covertly, since childhood. When I attended the CSA conference in 2018, the events/workshops and the network of fellow stutters inspired me to be open and accepting of my stuttering. Following this inspiration, I started my volunteering journey at CSA in 2019 and recently was honored to be accepted as a CSA Volunteer Coordinator and Board member. I am a CPA by profession, full time dad of two teenagers and love playing badminton and watching cricket.