January 3, 2014

Stammering .. Disability or Not??..let us re-consider our views.

Guys I have written an article to support stammering as disability.These are my personal beliefs and and I used somewhere critic language.So ..please dont mind...Next time writing any post I will be more polite.
Pls give your valuable replies in Comment box.

A section of stutters agrees being branded as disabled as they are able to benefit from it, where as other section do not agree as they do not feel good to get recognized themselves as Disabled.

   I am writing this article to support stammering as disability.Initially I was against to be called as  “Disabled.” Then I thought in wider perspective. I realized that it is needed to declare stammering as  disability.We can give a speech on positive thinking ,body language or have an positive idea about our  stammering .But when we talk about all these things, we actually talk about a few PWS connected to TISA like  SHGs and who are mild stutters.There may not be a recognizable connection between success and  stammering but its only true in case of mild stuttering.Let us think in broader perspective. We are 700-800  PWS, if we combine both TISA and Yahoo PWS group, In which hardly 200 PWS are active. In an  estimation about 1 Crore stutters are there in India.  If we compare this number to our active members than  its much high. We should take any decision taking care of majority. The PWS who are not attached to any  SHG movement living a mysterious life thinking that one day someone will come to hold their finger .They are  not so internet friendly to know about our group. If we talk about awareness than it will take long-long time to  do that with our limited resources. In this time period lakhs of our stutter friends will die in darkness. Making  one life better is making whole humanity
 better.This attempt is not for reservations but it is to demand some  legislation to stop discrimination in different level. We should raise our voice infront of government to make  some  legislation and protocol to stop discrimination.

    A person who has polio in his one leg has given reservation by government .Because He is not able to apply in Army like jobs or in those jobs in which it needs running or walking.If government would not give them reservation then he would be left behind from main stream and it will be violation of human rights too.Even He can do better in jobs like IT ,call center or banks etc still they get reservation.If we consider case of stutters, same conditions are applied to us too..even we get torcherd in so many ways by society that a person with disability other than stuttering wouldn't.Our case is serious than that of the person affected by polio.
         Before going to further in this article let us have a look on  definition of Disability.

   According to Wikipedia.

Disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An  impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by  an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an  individual in involvement in life situations. Thus, disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Mental  disorders (also known as psychiatric or psychosocial disability) and various types of chronic disease may  also qualify as disabilities.”
I         If we consider above definition that stammering can be assumed as Disability.  

1)The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. ADA defines three types of an "individual with a disability" (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Technical Assistance Manual, page II- 3)
  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Speaking is one such major life activity. Others include seeing and hearing.
  • a record of such an impairment. This applies more to individuals with a history of mental illness.
  • is regarded as having such an impairment. This protects people who are not substantially limited in a major life activity but are perceived to have such a limitation. For example, you may be capable of communicating, but your employer thinks that you can't communicate. 

  some other Acts in world that consider stuttering as Disability.

     Great Britain's Equality Act 2010, 

 Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 etc.

             Some views of  the people are written below on which I replied.

  View  1:  It depends on individuals Perception or opinion  either  they consider it as disability or      not.

Reply : Let us talks about facts not about opinions.
               2+2= 3,4 or 5 are opinions but 2+2= 4 is a fact .
Any physical or mental impairment or disorder that is INCURABLE and affects our daily routine work partially or completely is considered as disability.We can mention percentage of disability  but technically and logically stammering is disability.

View 2: I dont think declaring it a disability will change the opinion of the society in any way.Even after declaration of stammering as disability a PWS will be discriminated.

Reply : How my friend ? Now a days a company can fire a stammerer giving an excuse that he/she was not capable of doing the given task.we can not even appeal against it.After declaring it as disability government will have to make a legislation about it.After that A PWS can appeal against these type of cases.Although some companies have their own policy to take care of discrimination cases but they are not bound to that and most of these policies are only in black and white.

View 3:You said that In so many cases society rejected a stutter as marriage material due his/her stammer. So a girl will marry you if you get a disability status?

Reply : look below an opinion poll among stutter attached with well known non-profit organisation The India stammering association (TISA). 71.8% stutters consider stammering as Disability.

Again look another opinion poll non-stutters.62.32 % normal public ALREADY consider stammering as disability.When a girl marry to a stutter she already know that stammering could not be cured.She know that whom she is going to marry will stammer throughout his life and vise-versa.

Conclusion is this people already know that stammering is non-curable so there will be no recognizable effect of declaring stammering as disability.

     View 4All u can get from all this is a govt job to be frank,private companies still wouldn’t hire  you or promote you,people will still at laugh.I will favour spreading awareness and helping PWS  like TISA.
      Reply: Let me clear ;

1)      All this is neither for personal benefit nor for Reservation.This all to avoid discrimination . It will be our stand in front of government to avoid discrimination.after that it will be up to government how it made legislation about it.If a PWS get a job then it will put him in safe side only.Still awareness will be important because private companies still wouldn’t hire stutters.
2)      We can aware stutters to have better attitude towards problem.We are not living in ideal world.We can’t let ourselves on the conscience of others.We can aware people that a PWS can do better even with his/stutter but it may help only at the time of hiring.Can you tell me how awareness will help a stutter at the time when a company will fire or wouldn’t promote  him due to his stutter???.At that time only legislature will work.there are two things one is for stutters to have better attitude about problem and other to avoid discrimination.TISA  helps a PWS to have better attitude about the problem but we still need a tool to avoid discrimination.

  View 5: it is very difficult to predict whether a person stutters really or is faking it.
     Reply :  I think its very easy I have to points to support my statement.

                   1)Government have to mandate all schools and colleges and schools from nursery to post  graduate level that whenever any stutter would leave school or college they have to provide him/her a certificate as a proof about his/her stuttering.Through out his/her studied a stutter will get  atleast 3-4 proofs regarding stuttering.Suppose a person want to fake to get benefit of stutters  than he/she would have to go to all schools and colleges to get fake proofs,and you know its not possible at all.Even if someone does that certificates can be easly identified because they wouldn’t look like 20 years old.

                  2)There can be very few people who can mimic stuttering that an stutter failed to recognize.If  someone is so good in mimicry than he/she would go to bolywood to become an actor or mimic  :-) To recognize genuine stutters companies could hire stutters as HR professionals.One other  benefit is this it might increase demand of stutters in industry(what could be better than this).

                   3)In SC/ST/OBC government provide reservation to all candidates .Are all candidates  poor or  not in mainstream???.To benefit some deserving candidates government give reservation to all candidates belonging to respective category .Also in our judicial system a very famous quote is “ 100 culprits could be freed to save one innocent .“ So the thing is that 100 % transparency is not  possible anywhere.We have to think about stutters who are going to be benefited not about intruders.

     View -6 Government already have burden of reservations .

      Reply: Please read point no. 3 in view-5 reply.If we deserve we should go through.

    View:7 I don’t want to be labelled as “Disabled.”

      Reply : That’s it.Almost in all cases a stutter hesitate to accept stammering as disability because he don’t want to be labelled .We stutter take it to our Ego.I already explained in view-3 that people already consider as disabled they already consider stammering non-curable .When a person meet a stutter he never think that one day that stutter will cure himself(some people suggest us that do this or that it will be cured,but actually those are the who are unaware of stuttering) .I suggest we can understand stuttering better than others.

     Story of a poor man.

 A poor man in a village never applied for BPL (below poverty line) card because he do not want to be called as “poor”.He never applied for any government scheme for poor people because he thought  that it's better to live in crises than that of being assumed as poor.What do you want to say about that person??..different people can   have different opinions about it..but thing is that He just pretended  to be rich or contented even he was not.

                        Same example is true for some of our fellow PWS.In our TISA group we believe that Stammering is “Incurable” but we can not ACCEPT it as disability although we often discuss on concept of ACCEPTANCE.Even technically and logically stammering is a disability but still we pretend to be alright.

    View:8 "I see stammering more as a diversity rather than a disability. I am more inclined in seeing stammering as a "transfluency", the term introduced by Cristobal Loriente, a researcher from Spain, and a pws himself. Transfluency means a speech which is not fluent. It does not identify it as a speech 'impediment'. Why should we be looking for Sympathy and Pity rather than looking for recognition and opportunities?I feel it's a step backwards 
   ReplyDiversity does not affect someone’s life as stammering does.So we can’t consider it as diversity.If we talk about research of Mr Cristobal Loriente ,then I would like to say that There was no any need of such research in which after devoting so much time  a researcher come to a point that ”Stammering means a speech which is not fluent”. Mr Cristobal had to come to any stutter he would have told him that ”Stammering means a speech which is not fluent” .He just given a different name to the stuttering i.e Transfluency.So all his efforts was for to give a different name to the stuttering.?? We are not looking for sympathy or Pity,We are discriminated in different ways in the society, We just need a tool to raise our voice against it.Accepting the truth and raising our voice against discrimination is not a step backward. If still someone consider it I would like to say..”Daag lagne se agar kuch achhcha hota hai to daag achhche hain.

G   Guys give your valuable opinions and suggestions about this issue in comment box.


Amit dixshit


sachin said...

Yes, in the "wider perspective" it is a good idea. It can prevent many cases of wilful discrimination.. Look at following true case for example:

If there was legislation, the case would not have gone to court. It could be sorted then and there.
Amit- congratulations for a good research and sharing!!

abhishek said...

I think in a wider perspective this would be helpful in case of moderate to severe stutters.
Its sad but its true that in decisive situations of life like job interviews, first impression is the last impression . And stutterers are looked upon as under-confident, or strangely behaved people during interviews. We also need to spread awareness about stuttering to prevent discrimination.

Anandh Sundar said...

Hi Amit firstly thanks for a superbly well researched article. Yes it is often painful to acknowledge that it is a 'disability' but especially for those who have not built that confidence/technical expertise to get job security otherwise, this would be a useful point. And yes, the online english speaking TISA community is not a representation of all stammerers-this was brought out even at the TISA NC held at Delhi earlier in 2013.

Anonymous said...

I agree and open discussion is required .


Anonymous said...

hey amit, it is great that you have put all your beliefs and understanding and have involved many views and given some very new ideas(atleast to me). i havent yet read the whole article but have just gone through it. it would have been much better if the article was better structured and probably broken into parts (like a smaller blog today and further parts in upcoming blogs and so on).. this is because everybody has less time. i will read it by night and give you more inputs and then we can discuss it..
Akashdeep rayat

Manimaran said...

Amit, you got excellent writing skill. Pl nurture it and improve.

Regarding my comment on giving disability status,it is more of a individual perceptive. If anyone asks me I will say NO only.

The disability status is like a shield. If we got that status, most of the stammerers will hide behind it and won't be motivated enough to control it.

Stammering is the worst disability. Through out our life, it will neither allow us to live the way we wanted nor it allows to die. Of course blinds and deafs are more pathetic as they neither see nor hear the beauty of the world. But after sometime, they are able to accept their disabilities as they is no other option and accepting their disability 100% and adopting their life accordingly.

But this is not the case for stammerers. For each and every moment, they are always under constant pressure like how to start a conversation without stammering, what word we have to substitute not to stammer etc. yes... we are dying at every moment.

We are also not able to accept 100% of our stammering. Because when we practice some technique, we started speaking fairly well and seeing some light. But due to some reason, when we discontinue practicing we are back to square one. Even during regular practicing times, we are having good days and bad days.... a very little option for us.

The stammering is really a mysterious and a complex .......... I am unable put exact word in the dotted line no one knows under what category stammering is coming. Is it a disease or disability or neurological or psychological or combination of both...What a confusion. This itself is like stammering.

Coming to giving disability status, I consulted my brother who is a lawyer. He informed me that even if Govt gives disability status, they will only provide job reservation quota in the Govt departments and will not give any legal protection against discrimination. It is just like discriminating blind, deaf, fat, short, having ugly face etc... But Govt has provided legal protection for some minority religions and some castes. That is India...

Finally my views on your post is your writing skill is wonderful. And my comment is ....so sorry....NO COMMENTS..

Anonymous said...

Hello Bro, very good effort, a very nice awareness message, I agree with Aksahdeep, the article may be into 2-3 parts. But overall very nice. Keep the good work ahead...

Vinod kumar

Amit Dixshit said...

Thanks friends for your valuable comments.Thanks Manimaran sir for ur detailed views.Its true stuttering is something like stuttering itself.Any thing that is difficult to understand could be called as Stuttering :-) ;-) as a joke.stuttering is something that affects life severely couldn't be left undiscussed and on the willpower of individual.

Amit Dixshit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Motilal sete said...

First of all, hats off to u for such an brilliant article. I agree with u...We talk about acceptance and still deny it as disability,irony!!!! Recognising it as diability will go in long way in Empowering PWS towards his/r developement and to fight discrimination...also it will become a better tool of spreading awareness in society which we starve to do......
Best of luck....I recommand you to write more such articles and if possible for newspapers also since it will help to spread awareness in society...
Motilal sete

vijay kumar said...

Yes I agree, because of this problem I got rejected in most of the interviews..

Dinesh Hegde said...

It is a oneof the best article on stammering i read. In my view we should not only convince govt authorities to add some beneficial law for us like tax exemptions,low interst loan, tax benefits to companies but also we can help each other to get the job or any other help.
Most of the stammerers are well educated but they can not show their potential as normal world dont understand their difficulties.
Those who cured themselves and those who has mild stammering has to help much deserved.
Just try to findout in your company or in your network that any job exist which is not much talks required.
Instead of discussing and give philosophical lectures let us hit on ground reality.
Help each other otherwise we will perish