Who we are
50 Million Voices comprises people who stutter, employers and allies from many different countries and cultures. We've come together with a shared purpose to transform the world of work for 50 million people who stutter.
Launched in 2019, our network continues to grow and thrive. Our activities to date have involved participants from over 20 countries and six continents.
50 Million Voices is registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Our charity number is 1189541.
Iain is the founder and chair of 50 Million Voices and a person who stutters. He is also a trustee of the UK’s Business Disability Forum (BDF), an executive coach specialising in quiet leadership and a chartered accountant.
As a former partner at global professional services firm EY, including as a member of the firm’s UK & Ireland Leadership Team, Iain was the senior sponsor for the firm’s disability networks (Ability EY). He is also the founder of the EY Stammering Network and the UK’s Employers Stammering Network.
In 2014, Iain was the first winner of BDF’s Senior Executive award for his leadership for stuttering in the workplace and in 2017 EY awarded him a life-time impact award for his Ability EY leadership.
The official video of Iain's TEDx talk 'The Gift of Stuttering' was released in July 2022 https://tinyurl.com/IainTedx - Enjoy!
Helen is a linguist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was awarded an MBE in 2008 after leading a national programme connecting public libraries and refugees.
She previously worked at the British Stammering Association (Stamma), co-ordinating the Employers Stammering Network for three years, a learning journey for someone with no previous connection with stuttering.
Chris, himself a person who stutters, is Corporate Development Director at The Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 technology company. He is also a mentor and chartered management accountant.
Chris feels passionately about helping others who stutter to excel in the workplace, using the learnings and experiences he has gained whilst flourishing in the corporate world with a stutter.
Shilpa is an internationally experienced diversity & inclusion executive who stutters. She is our 50 Million Voices growth co-ordinator and also our country leader for India. Shilpa is a core team member of The Indian Stammering Association (TISA) and is a co-founder and leader of TISA’s women’s wing.
Sam is a speech and language therapist, person-centred counsellor, supervisor and trainer. She has a particular interest in disability studies, stammering activism and what stammering can teach us about ourselves and the world. Sam co-edited Stammering Pride & Prejudice: Difference not Defect with Patrick Campbell and Chris Constantino.
Richard is known for translating several books and articles on stuttering from English into French and helping to bridge North American and French European views of stuttering. He also brings experience of mentoring people who stutter in French-speaking African countries.
Ronan stutters and is a specialist in the issues impacting stuttering in foreign language learning. Having completed his PhD in Spain, he has collaborated extensively with the Spanish Stuttering Foundation. He regularly hosts international ‘Stutter Social’ which connects people who stutter via group video chat.
Our country leaders across thirteen countries and six continents are stuttering activists. They bring a wealth of knowledge and insights from different cultures and communities.
NB: Some countries use 'stammer', others 'stutter'. They both mean the same thing.
Many of them feature at the top of our home page. Click or right-click on the names below for email contact or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. They include:
Africa & Middle East:
Ghana – Elias Apreko
Elias is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Ghana Stammering Association, and a person who stammers. He is regarded as the lead advocate for stammering awareness and support for persons who stammer in Ghana. Elias also serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD).
Israel – Hanan Hurwitz
Hanan is a Quality Management Consultant, person who stutters, and former Chair and Executive Director of AMBI, the Israeli Stuttering Association. He lectures extensively on stuttering, hosts support group meetings, and brings a strong interest in how stigma and self-stigma impact behaviour and attitudes towards stuttering.
Kenya – Emmanuel Makokha
A board member for Stammering Kenya, Emmanuel is a person who stutters.
South Africa – Graham Klawansky
Graham is a leadership team member for Speakeasy Association South Africa and a person who stutters.
Canada – John Kenney
John is a board member and employment advocate for the Canadian Stuttering Association and a person who stutters.
Peru – Bruno Villegas
President and co-founder of Habla Libre Peruvian Association for people across Latin America who stutter, Bruno is a person who stutters proudly. In 2017 he gave a TEDx talk named ‘Alcanzando una tartamudez con libertad’ (‘Achieving stuttering freedom’).
United States – Pamela Mertz
Pamela is a person who stutters who is active in the global stuttering community. She is an immediate past board member of the USA National Stuttering Association, founder of the “We Stutter @ Work” program and co-founder of the new NSA “Women Connect” initiative. She is experienced in giving disability and inclusion trainings for large employers.
India – Shilpa Sagwal
Please see 'Specialists' above
New Zealand – Selena Donaldson
Selena is a speech-language therapist and clinical educator in Speech Science, School of Psychology at The University of Auckland. As a stuttering ally, Selena works with student speech-language therapists to enable students and staff with a stutter to thrive within university life.
France – Mounah Bizri
As Vice-President of the French stuttering association and a person who stutters, Mounah Co-created l’Eloquence du Bégaiement, the first speech contest in the world for people who stutter, and handicapossible.com, a website to inform about disability at work.
Germany – Stefan Hoffmann
Stefan lives in Ingolstadt, Germany and works in the Chinese sales team of a large car manufacturer. He is a person who stutters and has been active in self help (local and international) since 1991. He was a Board Member of the International Stuttering Association from 1998 to 2004.
Ireland – David Heney
David is Chair of the Irish Stammering Association (ISA), having been a board member for over ten years. He is a person who stammers, and has a particular interest in the development of the stammering community, both in Ireland and internationally.
UK – Iain Wilkie
Please see 'Trustees' above
Our volunteers include people who stutter, families, friends, and other allies who do not stutter.
Our volunteers play an essential part in helping us achieve our goals and we are very grateful to have the benefit of their skills and enthusiasm.
For example, volunteers designed and built this web-site, created our awareness video, have given talks and delivered our Practice Interview events.
If you would like to volunteer we would be thrilled to hear from you: email@example.com