Philadelphia, PA (Monday, August 28, 2023) – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and his foundation, Change & Impact join Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Center for Childhood Communication to host and speak to 150 speech-language pathologists (SLPs) from the School District of Philadelphia for a continuing education program on stuttering.  Joseph Donaher, Ph.D., the Academic and Research Program Director of the Center for Childhood Communication at CHOP will serve as program instructor for this first ever Change & Impact continuing education opportunity on Friday, September 1 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.    

“Raising awareness on the importance of continuing education about stuttering in the city where I was born has been a full circle moment for me,” said Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, NBA Veteran, Stuttering Advocate, and Founder of Change & Impact.  “I am grateful to CHOP for hosting this special program and I hope to continue on this path to make a positive impact on the stuttering community in the Delaware Valley Region.”

The program, “School-Age Children Who Stutter:  Assessing & Treating the Impact on Their World,” will provide SLPs with tools to evaluate the real-life impact that stuttering has on a child and their family.  Topics covered during the program will include assessment protocols which lead to individualized treatment plans, research-based best-practices, and strategies to working therapeutically with children who stutter and their families.  As the program’s guest speaker, Kidd-Gilchrist will share his own personal journey as a person who stutters while emphasizing the valued and trusted relationship between SLP and patient.  SLPs in attendance will earn continuing education units (CEUs).  

“The impact of stuttering is multifaceted and highly individualized.  Effective speech therapy should reduce barriers that hinder one’s ability or desire to communicate,” said Dr. Donaher. “Continuing education focused on stuttering expands opportunities for SLPs to learn the latest evidence-based best practices to improve patient outcomes and support their ability to practice at the top of their license and significantly support children who stutter and their families.”  

Dr. Donaher is also an Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at The University of Pennsylvania and a Board-Certified Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders.  His clinical and research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of school-age children who stutter.  He has been recognized both nationally and internationally for his work in the field.  Most recently, he was selected by “Stuttering Awareness Mental Well-Being Ireland” to travel to Ireland to participate in a week-long series of events during Ireland’s National Stuttering Awareness Day.  During his visit, Dr. Donaher will address Parliament on topics related to stuttering and mental health and receive the “Honorary Man of Cork” award by the Lord Mayor of Cork. 

The School District of Philadelphia is the eighth largest school district in the nation and the largest school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There are currently more than 100 full-time SLPs in the School District of Philadelphia who provide an extensive range of educational services and support for students with diverse needs. There are still full-time positions available across the city, which are available at teachinphilly.com

Media Availability:   The program is open to media on Friday, September 1 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm for the panel discussion with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dr. Joseph Donaher at The Hub Auditorium located at 3500 Civic Center Boulevard, First Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104.  Media parking will be available in the Buerger Center garage. Media RSVP is requested.  Please contact Kristen Peifer at 703.626.0032 or kmpeifer@gmail.com

About Change & Impact, Inc.

Founded in 2021 by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Change & Impact, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare and expand services and resources for those who stutter.  As a person who stutters, Kidd-Gilchrist started Change & Impact to advocate, educate, and raise awareness about stuttering.  To learn more, visit www.changeandimpactinc.org

For inquiries about Change & Impact or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist interview requests please contact:

Kristen Peifer│703.626.0032 │kmpeifer@gmail.com