My name is Jordi. I am a person who stutters and the founder and CEO of BeneTalk - a speech therapy app to help people who stutter adopt and retain helpful speaking habits to help them communicate more confidently and comfortably. BeneTalk is not a magic cure for stammering or a therapy program whose primary goal is fluency. Benetalk's primary goal is to empower people who stutter to say what they want to say and speak without struggle.
I have spoken about my story before, but this isn’t about me, but about the power of team and community that drives BeneTalk.
Research shows that people who stutter are disproportionately affected by unemployment and that stuttering can be barrier to progressing in educational and professional contexts. I knew that BeneTalk needed to be a place where stuttering voices could work and thrive.
I believe we have achieved this and we are proud to say that our mobile app is built for people who stutter, by people who stutter. At every stage of the development process the ideas, knowledge and ingenuity of stutterers are at the forefront. Our CTO, Koen, is a world-renowned expert in speech and audio processing, our graphic designer, Willemijn, raises awareness about stuttering across her social media channels which are followed by thousands of people, and our head of content, Ronan, volunteers for initiatives such as Stutter Social and Stammbassadors.
Their input is invaluable as we work as team to provide technology that can support people who stutter on a day-to-day basis. The other members of the team, Yasmin, Noëlle, and Hugo are focused on the product and software side of things. Their ability to empathize with the stuttering experience and grow into allies has been crucial to our development as a team. We also benefit from a wonderful scientific committee (of people who do and do not stutter) that have decades of experience in stuttering treatment, research, and community support.
This mix of people has lead us to develop a strong company culture built on inclusive practices, in which the communication needs of everyone are considered and facilitated. This means patience, empathy, and understanding underpin all of our conversations and are transferred to the work we do on a daily basis.
We believe this work to be important; research shows us that access to stuttering therapy is complicated. In some places, therapy is only available privately and is very expensive, in others there are long waiting lists for publicly funded services, but for many there is simply no chance to access support at all. Equally, studies show us that for people who have had therapy, it can be a real challenge transferring things they have learnt into every day situations at work, home or school.
On the team we know first hand how the support of others is vital to learning to live and thrive with a stutter. This support can come from healthcare professionals, the stuttering community, or family and friends around us. For some it can be difficult to find this support and we know that many people who stutter around the world have very few options available to them. Our mission at BeneTalk is to provide a reliable, flexible, and accessible option that places support in the hands of those who want it.
The stuttering community has never been so visible, active and connected. We are members of this community and our lives are impacted every day by the support we receive. Our work is an expression of our desire to return this support and empower individuals, and the community as a whole. I am grateful to lead a team that reflects the best of this community, a team that is proud to stutter and proud to encourage others to make their voices heard.