Generally about the website
This website looks mainly at the position of stammering under the Equality Act 2010 (previously the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). Stammering is the same as stuttering.
My name is Allan Tyrer. I used to practise as a solicitor, but had already given that up (out of choice) before starting this website 20 years ago. I have a stammer myself. Click here for more about me and my partner.
The website is written mainly from the point of view of the person who stammers (or his adviser) looking into his or her rights under the Equality Act. However employers and service providers dealing with people who stammer will find it useful as well and there is some content specifically for them.
I am not unbiased on many of the issues raised, but I’m also conscious that the website is more useful to all concerned if it gives a rounded view, and tries to give an accurate account of the law. I have sometimes – probably often – tended to suggest how one can argue for an interpretation in favour of the person who stammers. However, I keep within what seems to me legally plausible. Also I try to indicate when I do not think that the legal position is clear, at least if the uncertainty is substantial. Ultimately issues will have to be decided by the courts.
I sometimes use the words “he” and “his” for people who stammer, employers and everyone else. I do this only for convenience, and women (who stammer or who do not) or entities such as companies should please feel themselves included as well.
Of course I would be very interested to hear if anyone spots errors or omissions – always bearing in mind that the site does not aim to cover every detail. I would also be very interested to hear any other comments on the website, and any personal experiences of discrimination or lack of it. My email address is email@example.com.
Most recently, in June 2019 I transferred the website onto WordPress. This is a well-known open-source modern content management system. I hope this will make the website easier to access on smartphones, as well as giving it a somewhat more modern look. The design is a work in progress, and I may well be trying out different designs of the website to see what works best. More: This site is now on WordPress!
Origins in 1999
I started the website 20 years ago because so far as I knew no one had really looked at how the Disability Discrimination Act applied to stammering, and indeed whether it did apply. My partner and I would sometimes mention the DDA saying “if it applies to stammering”. So I thought I would combine my legal background with my personal knowledge of stammering to find some answers. Also I was interested in writing a website on something or other, and this seemed a good topic.
The first thing I wrote were the most detailed legal pages. These went on the internet in Autumn 1999. They were useful stuff but rather long for everyone to wade through. I’ve therefore since added shorter guides before people get to more detail, or summaries at the top of longer pages.
I did a major redesign of the website in 2006. For anyone interested in the technicalities, the pages were still static html, but the new website used a stylesheet, and also SSI (server side includes) for the header and sidebar. The redesign made it easier to find one’s way around the site – and the technical improvements made it easier for me to make changes across the site without having to alter each page.
Since June 2019 that is replaced by the new WordPress website, which should improve things still further.
I am likely to be doing more work on the WordPress design.
Also quite a bit of content has not been updated for a few years. This is something I need to work on. (Each page now shows at the top when it was updated).
There will also be further legal developments, particularly cases, to try and keep up with. However updating doesn’t always happen promptly.
Editing content, and structuring the website, so that people can understand and find content fairly easily is something I’m always trying to improve. Generally, I go on the basis that different people will want different amounts of detail, so I aim to give both shorter summaries and the option to drill deeper into a particular area if the visitor wants. However it can be difficult to achieve this in a user-friendly way.