Stuttering In The Work Place

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Presentation on the impact of Stuttering in the Work Place. Thsi presentation was given at the 5th World Congress on Fluency Disorders.

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Stuttering In The Work Place

  1. 1. Stuttering in the Workplace: An Empirical Study of Issues and Challenges Marshall Rice, Ph.D. York University, Canada Robert Kroll, Ph.D. Speech Foundation of Ontario, Canada 5 th World Congress on Fluency Disorders
  2. 2. <ul><li>Objective </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how people who stutter view the impact of their stuttering on employability, job performance and career advancement in the workplace. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Past Research </li></ul><ul><li>Previous research shows people who stutter are viewed as: </li></ul><ul><li>Less competent than non-stutterers (Silverman and Paynter, 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Vocationally handicapped (Hurst and Cooper, 1983) </li></ul><ul><li>Less promotable (Rice and Kroll, 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Negatively assessed by superiors/employers (Hohmeier, 1985). </li></ul><ul><li>Less employable (Crichton-Smith, 2002) </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Online survey was utilized. </li></ul><ul><li>Respondents recruited via following methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Posting invitations and URL link on Newsgroups for people who stutter (ex: Stutt-L and Stuttering Chat). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Posting invitation on Web sites visited by people who stutter (such as National Stuttering Foundation Web site and The Stuttering Home Page). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Online survey link announced in newsletters for people who stutter (ex. British Columbia Association of People who Stutter). </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Respondents </li></ul><ul><li>412 respondents worldwide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>United States: 239, Britain: 64, Canada: 32, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Australia: 24 , India: 13, Other countries: 40 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender: 72% male </li></ul><ul><li>Stuttering severity (self rating): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mild (39%), moderate (54%), severe (7%) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Therapy: 86% of respondents had received treatment for stuttering. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Survey Instrument </li></ul><ul><li>17 five-point Likert scale items </li></ul><ul><li>1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree </li></ul><ul><li>(Items adopted from from Klein and Hood, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>a. 10 questions about respondent’s personal </li></ul><ul><li>experiences being a person who stutters in </li></ul><ul><li>the work place. </li></ul><ul><li>b. 7 questions about respondents perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>about ‘all people who stutter’ in the workplace. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Respondent’s Self Beliefs About Impact of Stuttering </li></ul><ul><li>(% Agree/ Strongly Agree) </li></ul><ul><li>1. Stuttering has, at times, interfered with my job performance: 85.9% </li></ul><ul><li>2. Overall, I would be better at my job if I did not stutter: 74.7% </li></ul><ul><li>3. I have, at times, sought employment which requires little speaking: 63.8% </li></ul><ul><li>4. I would be more likely to be promoted if I did not stutter: 59.5% </li></ul><ul><li>5. I would earn more money if I did not stutter: 57.5% </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Respondent’s Self Beliefs About Impact of Stuttering </li></ul><ul><li>(% Agree/ Strongly Agree) </li></ul><ul><li>(continued) </li></ul><ul><li>6. I would have a better career if I did not stutter: 54.9% </li></ul><ul><li>7. I would have a different job if I did not stutter: 54.1% </li></ul><ul><li>8. I would have a better job if I did not stutter: 51.9% </li></ul><ul><li>9. I would have a different career if I did not stutter: 47.2% </li></ul><ul><li>10. I have turned down a new job or promotion because I stutter: 27.2% </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Respondent’s Views about ‘All People Who Stutter’ </li></ul><ul><li>1. The average person who stutters believes that his/her stuttering interferes with job performance: 83.5% </li></ul><ul><li>2. If two equally qualified individuals, one who stutters and one who does not stutter apply for a job, the employer will view the non-stuttering person more favorably: 82.9% </li></ul><ul><li>3. Stuttering decreases an individual’s chances of being hired: 76.2% </li></ul><ul><li>4. Stuttering interferes with promotion possibilities: 72.4% </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Respondent’s Views about ‘All People Who Stutter’ </li></ul><ul><li>(Continued) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Employers believe that stuttering interferes with job performance: 68.2% </li></ul><ul><li>6. Stuttering interferes with job performance: 55.6% </li></ul><ul><li>7. Stuttering increases an individual’s chances of being fired: 28.4% </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>People who stutter worldwide believe that stuttering has a negative impact on their employability, performance and career advancement. </li></ul><ul><li>In some cases, the challenges facing stutterers in the workplace appear to be caused by their own behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Other times, employers biased views limited workplace potential of people who stutter. </li></ul><ul><li>Research findings indicate the need for improved education, therapy and assistance for people who stutter in the workplace. </li></ul>

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