Recently inaugurated President Joe Biden is a positive role model to people who stutter and will raise awareness of stuttering worldwide, according to Rodney Gabel, stuttering expert and professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Stuttering Association and is a person who stutters.
Stuttering is misunderstood and impacts adults and children who stutter in negative ways. Gabel, founding director of the division of Speech-Language Pathology at Binghamton University, said that Biden’s position raises awareness of stuttering and helps those in the stuttering community feel connected with others who also stutter.
“Biden is an important role model because he has begun to talk openly about stuttering and because he has demonstrated that one can still stutter while communicating well and achieving astonishing goals,” said Gabel.
For people who stutter, the presidential campaign, Biden’s election and his inauguration mark an important change in how we discuss stuttering, said Gabel. Biden has talked openly about his experience stuttering at various speeches. For example he noted at a CNN Town Hall in February 2020 that he continues to stutter when he is tired.
“This was good for me to hear, and I believe good for other people who stutter,” said Gabel. “Talking about stuttering, instead of trying to hide it, is an important part of coping.”