University Scholar Series: Pei-Tzu Tsai


University Scholar Series: Pei-Tzu Tsai


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Learning from Stuttering: A Path from Disorder to Diversity

Tripping over our words while talking is quite common. While most people can move on without much effort, one out of 100 speakers experiences getting stuck (stuttering) on a daily basis since early childhood, and moving on can be emotionally and physically taxing. Stuttering is a speech disorder that is genetic-neurological in nature, with symptoms that can be affected by multiple factors across the lifespan. The exact cause of stuttering remains unclear, but its negative consequences on self-perception, social attitude, and quality of life are well documented. Though there is currently no cure, speech therapy has evolved in dynamic directions to address the complex impacts of the disorder and to advocate for diversity and inclusion of those who speak differently. Dr. Tsai’s research investigates the underlying factors of stuttering and stuttering therapy, with a goal of developing culturally and linguistically responsive services for individuals who stutter and advocating for acceptance and diversity in communication.

About the Author

Professor Tsai is an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland at College Park on cognitive-linguistic processing in adults who stutter. Since joining the university, she has been actively involved in diversity and inclusion services and projects, and established the fluency specialty clinic, summer camp for kids who stutter, and gender-affirming voice and communication clinic at the Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders, serving the local communities. She enjoys mentoring student researchers and received the SJSU distinguished faculty mentor award in 2020.

Date of Event

Fall 10-20-2021


stuttering, stutterers, neurological differences, stigma, societal pressure


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Genetic Phenomena | Speech Pathology and Audiology


1 streaming video file (55 min.) : digital, sound, color. Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.

University Scholar Series: Pei-Tzu Tsai