The National Stuttering Association is extremely troubled by recent media reports indicating that a candidate for the Cleveland Police Department was denied from joining the force due to his stuttering.
Media reports indicate that, despite completing police academy training, Stephano Jackson was “held back” because he is a person who stutters.
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson previously said the reason for the denial was that the cadet's “performance” in the police academy was not “up to par.”
If these reports are true, that the Cleveland Police Department denies qualified people who stutter from employment, the implications are unacceptable.
“Conflating a person's stuttering with an inability to succeed in professional employment is wrong and reinforces negative and false stereotypes,” said Kenny Koroll, Chairman of the NSA. “This news not only impacts Mr. Jackson and other people who stutter, but countless other individuals with various communication disorders seeking employment, especially those who have proven capable of the career they are pursuing despite their challenge.”
Koroll adds, “People who stutter have achieved success in every profession imaginable. Stuttering should not be a barrier from entering any profession.”
The NSA urges the Cleveland Police Department to reexamine its practices in working with people who stutter and the public to learn more about the truths and myths about stuttering.
Those seeking more information about or support for stuttering can find it at www.westutter.org
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