SOURCE: American Institute for Stuttering

American Institute for Stuttering

June 13, 2012 14:13 ET

Baseball Legend Tommy John, Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean and Sir Harold Evans and Tina Brown Honored by the American Institute for Stuttering

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jun 13, 2012) - On Monday night The American Institute for Stuttering (AIS), one of the few non-profit organizations in the United States that provides assistance to people of all ages who stutter, honored World Series baseball legend Tommy John and 9/11 Commission Chair and former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean for overcoming their stuttering disorders to later achieve rewarding and influential careers that have made indelible contributions in their respective fields.

GMA contributor and former ESPN host Josh Elliott presented the award to John and highlighted his remarkable achievements. In his acceptance speech, John said that being a popular sports figure didn't make it any easier for someone who stutters and advised others with the problem to build up their confidence and not let anyone bully you.

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Clarence Page introduced the award to Governor Kean and created ripples of laughter recalling his recent appearance as a contestant on Jeopardy's Power Players Week.

Vice President Joseph Biden, a longtime advocate of AIS, forwarded a congratulatory letter for each recipient that was read during the ceremony. The Vice President shared his personal challenges with stuttering and commended the honorees on their perseverance and inspirational endeavors.

Media icon Barbara Walters made a surprise appearance to present the Catherine Montgomery Advocacy Award to her close friends Sir Harold Evans and Tina Brown. The award is named for the beloved founder of AIS and is bestowed on individuals for their extraordinary contributions to the stuttering community. Barbara dazzled the audience with her heartfelt and personal introduction of this remarkable couple and emphasized the amazing contributions that they have made to AIS since its inception. She also shared poignant thoughts about her sister Jacqueline who was a stutterer, and witty remembrances of her grandmother that proved to be one of the evening's most memorable highlights.

Renowned actor Sam Waterston, star of HBO's upcoming series The Newsroom, was a superb Master of Ceremonies.

Actress Emily Blunt, an AIS Board Member, sent a video greeting expressing her regret at missing her favorite event of the year.

Catherine Montgomery founded AIS to help free the 3 million Americans living within their own voiceless prison due to a stuttering communication disorder; AIS' mission is to help these individuals gain the skills and confidence to speak anywhere at any time. As a tribute to its founder, this year the Institute has initiated an Advocacy Award in her name to acknowledge a person or company who has displayed a dedicated alliance to the stuttering community even though the award recipient does not stutter.

About Stuttering
Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects approximately seven percent of children and one percent of adults. It is a genetic and neurological disorder that is not, as many assume, caused by anxiety. Stuttering is often dismissed as a minor hindrance, when in fact it can govern a person's life, affecting their education, relationships, and career. Greatly misunderstood, stuttering is one of the few disorders that provoke undeserved shame by humiliation and even laughter by an uninformed public.

Many individuals have overcome a stuttering problem and gone on to excel in all professional fields, including those that call for public speaking like acting, teaching and politics, as well as sports, the arts, business and education. Well-known stutterers include Vice President Joseph Biden, NBA star Kenyon Martin, Jack Welch, Carly Simon, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Lauder and AIS board member, actress Emily Blunt.

The American Institute for Stuttering serves children and adults who stutter with specialized speech therapy. Their goal is to help clients achieve freedom and confidence in the face of stuttering. Their clients have come from across the United States and over a dozen countries around the world. The organization also trains speech-language pathologists in the expertise of stuttering therapy and engages and encourages people who stutter worldwide.

About the American Institute for Stuttering
The American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) is one of the few 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in the United States that offers state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to professionals. AIS offers a range of services, including early intervention therapy for children as young as two years old, support to school-age children (who are more often bullied than their peers), group therapy courses that accommodate diverse schedules, and a unique three-week intensive treatment program. AIS also teaches their innovative therapy approach to speech-language pathologists, who traditionally are inexperienced in treating stuttering, to meet the great need for specially trained therapists. AIS is committed to advancing public understanding of stuttering and worked in Washington, D.C. to increase federal funding for research of the disorder.

For more information about stuttering and AIS, please visit

Available for interviews: Dr. Heather Grossman serves as the Clinical Director of the American Institute for Stuttering. Please call 212-633-6400 to schedule an interview.

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