Marjon Speech and Language Therapy graduate, Anna Gething, has received a prestigious commendation for her research project about stammering.
Anna received one of only two commendations for the IJLCD/RCSLT student prize which recognises the best student research projects from universities across the UK. It was jointly awarded by the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders (IJLCD) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).
The commendation was for Anna's dissertation, called To eliminate or embrace? An in-depth literature review to determine goal-setting factors for adults who stammer.
Anna explored the questions that speech and language therapists (SLTs) need to consider when they treat patients who stammer. She also addressed the historically unchallenged assumption that achieving fluent speech should be the goal of therapy. Dysfluency, or stammering, is now considered as acceptable by many people who stammer, and even desirable. Anna represented all the voices in this debate, including the Stammering Pride movement, and set out the implications for SLTs.
The IJLCD/RCSLT panel noted the thoroughness of the review and the contribution made to debates on models of (dis)ability.
Anna was nominated for the prize by lecturer Alex Mallinson, her project supervisor. Alex said: “Anna's work was outstanding both in terms of its methodological rigour and its contribution to the evidence base in this area. Her attention to detail and enthusiasm for clinically focused research was as clear in her thesis as in all of our discussions.”
Anna said: “Going back to university as a mature student was a big decision but Marjon very quickly felt like exactly the right place to be. I’m thrilled that my project has been recognised as contributing to my profession.
I’m thankful to the SLT lecturers who were brilliant, enthusiastic and supportive, and to the SLT students who were just a lovely bunch of people. My training experience was sometimes challenging, frequently fascinating, and always hugely valuable.”
Anna is now a community paediatric Speech and Language Therapist for Children and Family Health Devon.