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Answers for Employers

A potential employee stutters, what do I need to know?

What employers and the general public need to know is that stuttering is a phenomenon that only effects a person's ability to verbally communicate with another person. People who stutter are no more anxious or stressed than any other person and are no more or less intelligent than others.

The individual stuttered quite badly in the job interview. Is that typical of how he will speak on a day to day basis at work?

Everyone tend to be a little nervous in a job interview and a person with a stutter is no different. Having said that, a job interview situation is one of a few situations where people who stutter tend to agree is one of their worst situations for fluency. If a person stutters in an interview situation it does not mean that they will stutter in the normal workplace and it certainly does not mean that they will stutter with the same severity.

What situations is this person likely to have most problems with his stuttering?

While everyone who has a stutter experiences their stuttering in a different way there are situations where stuttering can be more pronounced. Apart from the initial job interview, the individual may have difficulty introducing themselves or others, answering the telephone and saying a particular word like to company name, speaking to a superior in a less than favourable appraisal situation. In the main the individual is not likely to have trouble communicating with fellow workers in a general day to day situation unless he has a severe manifestation of the problem.

Is there anything I can do to help the person speak more fluency?

In general, it is not necessary to treat a person with a stutter any differently to any of the other employees of the company. All employees should be treated with dignity and respect in a friendly and supportive environment. An employee who is not treated in such a way and forced to work in an environment that is hostile will, like other employees, react to this environment through showing various reactions to that hostility and such a reaction can, for some, result in increased stuttering from time to time.

Should I ask the person about the stuttering in an interview or general work situation?

In an interview situation, it does not hurt to ask the individual about all aspects of their suitability to the job that you are offering. If stuttering is mild and does not aper to be of great concern to the individual, then it is unlikely to be an issue in the workplace. If it is more severe or is of concern to you as an employer then by all means you should ask the person about how they believe they will function in the job with their stuttering. The answer to this question should, like any other interview question, should be looked at by you to see if it is likely to be an issue or not and then taken on board as part of the overall interview situation.


It is unlikely that a person who has a stutter will apply for a job that he/she does not think they will be able to perform due to their stutter.

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Redifining Stuttering: What The Struggle To Speak Is Really All About

Redifining Stuttering - Harrison