Learning from Stuttering: A Path from Disorder to Diversity

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

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Presented by Professor Pei-Tzu Tsai

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Tripping over our words while talking is quite common. While most people can move on without much effort, one out of 100 speakers experiences getting stuck (stuttering) on a daily basis since early childhood, and moving on can be emotionally and physically taxing. Stuttering is a speech disorder that is genetic-neurological in nature, with symptoms that can be affected by multiple factors across the lifespan. The exact cause of stuttering remains unclear, but its negative consequences on self-perception, social attitude, and quality of life are well documented. Though there is currently no cure, speech therapy has evolved in dynamic directions to address the complex impacts of the disorder and to advocate for diversity and inclusion of those who speak differently. Dr. Tsai’s research investigates the underlying factors of stuttering and stuttering therapy, with a goal of developing culturally and linguistically responsive services for individuals who stutter and advocating for acceptance and diversity in communication.

Professor Tsai is an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland at College Park on cognitive-linguistic processing in adults who stutter. Since joining the university, she has been actively involved in diversity and inclusion services and projects, and established the fluency specialty clinic, summer camp for kids who stutter, and gender-affirming voice and communication clinic at the Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders, serving the local communities. She enjoys mentoring student researchers and received the SJSU distinguished faculty mentor award in 2020.

Hosted by Provost Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., this series provides a unique opportunity for showcasing the important research and scholarly activities of SJSU faculty members.

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