The Conference was Great! But Now What?
- Category: Personal Commentary
- Published: Tuesday, 05 November 2019 10:33
- Written by Casey Dumaresq
Our annual CSA conference last month was a huge success! We had record-breaking attendance, including many families, speech-language pathologists and students, and of course - people who stutter of all ages. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants loving the powerful keynote speech from David Stones, the screening of “When I Stutter” directed by John Gomez, and the opportunity to network and share in interactive workshops.
Pictured is the conference committee who worked as a team to make it all happen: (L-R) (Back row) Lisa Wilder, Catharine Moroney, Arun Khanna, Mary Wood, Carla Di Domenicantonio, Casey Dumaresq, David Stones. (Front row) Anna Huynh, Eeva Stierwalt, Alexandra D'Agostino.
For those who were there, thanks so much! We couldn’t have done it without you! For those who didn’t make it - why not? I know when I first heard of conferences for people who stutter, I was wary and skeptical. Why would I want to hang out with a bunch of strangers and talk about something I try to hide and get away from?
Connecting With Others
But looking back at the past 6 years, I can without a doubt tell you that connecting with others who stutter has allowed me to communicate and regain my voice more than anything else has. Stuttering conferences, where I was able to feel normal, where I was encouraged to learn and explore that I didn’t have to cower in shame and fear, has been life-changing for me. Stuttering can bring us together. One of the people I met at my first stuttering conference in 2014 is now one of my best friends, and was a groomsman at my wedding last year in spite of us living 4,000km apart. Connecting with others who stutter and sharing such an intimately difficult and isolating experience is so powerful.
You might now be saying,“Well great! Now I want to go to a stuttering conference! But Casey - it’s too late! I’ll have to wait until next year!” Fear not, dear reader.
The Conference Spirit Continues Through Local Support Groups
For photos of the conference, check out our flickr page.