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Helpline laughing at stammer

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Last updated 1st June 2019.

The lady on a helpline laughed at someone’s stammer and said ‘You can talk perfectly well if you want to’.

A person who stammers rang a public helpline. The lady at the other end laughed at her as she was trying to speak.

When the caller said that wasn’t acceptable, the lady replied: “You see, you can talk perfectly well when you want to!”

The caller wrote to the helpline who responded excellently. They listened to their tape of the conversation and the lady was taken off the helpline for re-training. They also contacted the British Stammering Association for information to help them build stammering into their general training courses for helpline staff.

My comment

This is very likely to be harassment under the Equality Act 2010, and perhaps direct discrimination.

It also shows the value of putting in a complaint.