Passing As Fluent: A Power Move to Access Able-Bodied Privilege? (Ep. 517)

stuttering, StutterTalk

Chris Constantino

Christopher Constantino joins Peter Reitzes to discuss disability rights and disability studies and how they may intersect with speech-language pathology and self help for people who stutter. During the second half of today’s episode, Mr. Constantino is asked about his research on passing as fluent (known to some as covert stuttering). Chris suggests that passing as fluent may be less an oppression of authenticity and more a power move to access able-bodied privilege. Mr. Constantino describes this analysis as “returning agency to the person.”  Chris suggests that passing as fluent may be more of a “resistance” to dominant discourses than a repression of an authentic self.

Christopher Constantino is a person who stutters and a PhD student in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Memphis. Chris is doing his clinical fellowship in the Shelby County Schools in Memphis and is conducting a research study to understand and contextualize the experiences of passing as fluent for people who covertly stutter. Chris will be hosting some StutterTalk episodes this summer from the International Fluency Association’s World Congress in Portugal, July 6-8.