Graduate Student Wins Battle Against New York University

by Jacquie Kurland, NSSLHA* President

NSSLHA* News and Notes
Spring 1999

Peter Reitzes, a first-year graduate student at New York University (NYU), found himself embroiled in what might have escalated into a discrimination lawsuit last year. Shortly after being admitted into the program, Mr. Reitzes was told that his mild stutter was unacceptable and that he would not be placed in a clinical practicum unless he could prove that his speech was essentially stutter-free. Rather than give in to this discriminatory policy, Mr. Reitzes fought back, garnering public support through the media, professional support from the Fluency Special Interest Division, and support from peers at NSSLHA. He reminded NYU that this profession was founded by persons who stutter; that four times the Association has elected presidents, five times the Honors of the Association have been bestowed, and 25 times Fellowships have been awarded to persons who stutter. The discriminatory policy was rescinded by NYU during the ASHA [American Speech-Language-Hearing Association] Convention. Mr. Reitzes's fight against this unfair policy is a reminder to us all of the clients we serve and their daily struggles with the challenges of communication disorders. His determination to win and his courage to stand up to discrimination is an inspiration.

*National Student Speech Language Hearing Association


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