Creating Inclusive Classrooms for Students with a Stuttering Disability
Dr. Antonio L. Ellis
American University School of Education

Students with a stuttering disability face unique challenges in educational settings that can impact their academic performance, social interactions, and overall well-being. Despite advances in understanding and supporting individuals with disabilities, there remains a need for greater awareness and implementation of inclusive practices in classrooms. This study explores strategies for creating inclusive classrooms that support the diverse needs of students with a stuttering disability, drawing on research and best practices in education, speech-language pathology, and disability studies. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive environment for students with disabilities, including those with a stuttering disability (Blood & Blood, 2016; Byrd et al., 2018). Inclusive classrooms promote acceptance, understanding, and accommodation of individual differences, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing stigma associated with disabilities (Dowdy & Walton, 2018). By implementing inclusive practices, educators can create a positive learning environment that enhances the academic and social experiences of all students, including those with a stuttering disability.

This workshop will discuss various strategies for promoting inclusion in classrooms, including (1) raising awareness and understanding of stuttering among students and educators, (2) providing appropriate accommodations and support services, such as speech therapy and assistive technology, (3) fostering a culture of acceptance and respect for diversity, and (4) empowering students with a stuttering disability to advocate for their needs and participate fully in classroom activities (Kiger et al., 2020; Hughes & Gabel, 2019). Through case studies and practical examples, this workshop will highlight effective approaches for creating inclusive classrooms that prioritize the needs and experiences of students with a stuttering disability, ultimately contributing to a more equitable and supportive educational environment for all.
Blood, G. W., & Blood, I. M. (2016). Exploring the acceptance of stuttering: An ethnographic study. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 50, 38-50.
Byrd, C. T., Gkalitsiou, Z., Donaher, J., & Irani, F. (2018). Elementary and secondary students’ perceptions of stuttering. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 58, 47-59.
Dowdy, E., & Walton, C. (2018). Inclusive education: A practical guide to supporting diversity in the classroom. Routledge.
Hughes, S., & Gabel, R. M. (2019). Supporting students who stutter in inclusive classrooms. Young Exceptional Children, 22(2), 68-78.
Kiger, G., Murphy, K., & Allen, M. M. (2020). Supporting students who stutter: A guide for educators. Brookes Publishing.
Short Biography
Dr. Antonio L. Ellis is a Senior Professorial Lecturer and Director of the Institute on Education Equity and Justice at the American University School of Education. He teaches special education courses and advises students in the educational leadership and policy doctoral program. He has served as an inclusion teacher, central office administrator, and school building administrator with the District of Columbia Public Schools. His passion is advocating on behalf of persons with disabilities, with a special emphasis on African American males who are speech impaired. Dr. Ellis’ research interests include social equity, pastoral care, pastoral ethics, educational leadership, multicultural education, critical race theory, and special education.