Sunday, June 23, 2019

Meeting commenced 12:05 pm

Hotel Ork, Breiðumörk 1c, 810 Hveragerði, Iceland

20 people signed in for the ISA Membership meeting, with visitors periodically arriving and leaving. For voting purposes, the following people represented their associations:

Name Country Association
Elias Apreko Ghana Ghana Stammering
Arni Birgisson Iceland Malbjorg
Anita Blom Sweden Stamningsförbundet / Swedish Stuttering Association
Sybren Bouwsma The Netherlands Nederlandse stottervereniging Demosthenes
Hermann Christmann Denmark Stammeforeningen i Danmark (FSD)
Sigríður Fossber Iceland Malbjorg
Anja Herde Germany Bundesvereinigung Stottern & Selbsthilfe e.V.
Bruce Imhoff Australia Australian Speak Easy Association
Jean-Francois Leblanc Canada Association des bègues du Canada Inc.
Benny Ravid Israel AMBI
Paul Norway Norsk interesseforening for stamming og løpsk tale (NIFS)
Keisuke Saito Japan Japan Stuttering Genyukai Association
Douglas Scott USA National Stuttering Association

The following gives an indication of nations represented at the meeting;

Australia 3 Iceland 2 Sweden 1
Canada 1 Israel 2 USA 2
Denmark 1 Japan 1 Cameroon 1
Germany 2 the Netherlands 1
Ghana 1 Norway 2

Meeting opened by Bruce Imhoff, Vice Chair of the ISA in the absence of the Chair.

Voting rights clarified, proxy votes acknowledged, all voters signed in. Anita Blom held proxy votes for associations for ELSA.

Minutes from 2016 Membership Meeting were read out loud by Bruce Imhoff and were reviewed.

Error correction under reports from current members: „Challenges of time, relying on volunteers who have limited time, difficulty with communications, both language and technical. For example, approaching established groups for advice and NOT getting a response (eg Burkina Faso, Uganda, Zambia), noted as an issue, not a judgement.“

Motion to accept minutes by Hermann Christmann, seconded by Anita Blom.

Action item from previous minutes

Anja Herde pointed out, that every country should try to reduce the costs as much possible. Especially the costs of congress fees and accommodation should be kept limited. It is important, that as many people as possible can attend the congress. Sometimes it helps to choose a venue in a smaller city and not in the capital city of a country, just like the Icelandic association did. Another idea is to reduce the expectation regarding venue places, so that other buildings like universities or youth hostels are possible options, too.

Financial reports and statements
Report on ISA finances were presented up to May 11, 2019. The reports were discussed and how the ISA uses the funds.

Approximately half of the funds were applied to scholarships with minor costs for website.

Arni Birgisson talked about the ISA bank account. As Keith Boss, the past ISA Chair still owns the ISA bank account, the ISA Board decided to open up an online account in Iceland. The money will be transferred from Keith Boss to this new account. The fees are probably free or at least very low. The new account will be run under the name International Stuttering Association and there will be at least three board members who will have access to the account.

Hermann Christmann suggested to use PayPal as a user friendly and cheap alternative. Arni Birgisson will check offers for nonprofits as a possible options.

Scholarships from 2019 were discussed. Eight people got an ISA scholarship to attend the ISA World Congress. The board wasn’t able to have six month notice to ensure sufficient time to arrange visas. But  just one person was unable to attend due to a health problem.

Bruce to confirm with Mel Hoffmann and Bob Wellington regarding whether financial accounts must be calendar year of can be represented by financial year.

Bruce confirmed, that invoices were prepared for 2015 through 2018.

Motion to accept financial report by Hermann Christmann, seconded by Anita Blom, conditional on amendments to ‚Equity Change‘ sections on pages 2 and 3 to reflect correct dates.

Message from outgoing ISA Board of Directors

Anja read the message out loud.

Welcome to the 13th World Congress in Iceland! 

We, the Outgoing Board of Directors of the International Stuttering Association (2016-2019) are honored to have served this great organization. We believe we have upheld the mission of the ISA with integrity and a vision of a better future for those we serve. We could not have done this without the support from all the volunteers who are also dedicated to our mission and for that we are grateful. 

To the New Board of Directors – Bring your talents, your experiences, and your passion to serve, to the table. They will all be necessary to help steer the ISA in new future directions. We applaud your willingness to give your time and yourself to this very worthy cause for which we all know to be so valuable. With continued collaborations we believe the ISA can reach a greater audience of people who stutter who can benefit from our support.

We thank the Conference Committee for their dedication in putting together a wonderful program and all of those who are involved in making the conference run smoothly. We know It will be a great success. 

As we look to the near future, we wish all of you in Iceland a joyous time. As you come together this week, remember the sense of strength and community you feel. Carry this with you to your home country and share the wisdoms and support to your local friends who stutter. This is how we grow. This is how we create a World that Understands Stuttering.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” African Proverb 

All the Best, The Outgoing ISA Board of 2016-2019

Annie Bradberry, Bruce Imhoff, Pamela Mertz, Anja Herde, Mitch Trichon, Keisuke Saito, Arni Por Birgisson. 

Keisuke Saito made an additional statement about his time as a board member and thanked everyone for the good cooperation.

Election of Officers

Bruce Imhoff read out loud the candidate statements of Rod Gabel (USA), John Steggles (Australia) and Dina Lilian (South Africa).

The present nominees for the ISA board presented themselves, a total of seven candidates. All were elected to the board without opposition.

Name Country Votes Position
Arni Por Birgisson Iceland 12 Treasurer
Sybren Bouwsma The Netherlands 12
Sigríður Fossber Iceland 12
Rod Gabel USA 11 Research
Anja Herde Germany 11 Chair
Dina Lilian South Africa 11
John Steggles Australia 11

Positions are not completely filled yet.

Anita Blom suggested to send out the information about candidates and bids in advance to the representatives of membership associations for the next ISA Membership meeting in 2022. Hermann Christmann supported Anita Blom and added to send out the agenda 1-2 months before the ISA Membership meeting.

The meeting nominated Annie Bradberry and Bruce Imhoff to be added to the Advisory Board.

World Congress

2018 Joint World Congress – Hiroshima, Japan

Anja Herde attended the congress in Japan. She talked about her impressions and mentioned that it was a wonderful conferences. Unfortunately there was too little collaboration with PWS (ISA) and professionals/ SLPs. It was more talking about PWS and not with PWS. Too much presentations of researchers were held and too little collaborative workshops. Hermann Christmann supported Anja‘s statement. In addition, he drew attention to the fact, that certain parts of researchers were not attending this Joint World Congress because of a previous SLP congress in Rome, Italy.

Keisuke Saito reported about the Joint World Congress. There were 400 participants, 200 from Japan, 200 people from other countries.

Concerns were expressed with the difficulty of having five organizations in the organizing committee, each with different interests. Some didn’t believe that all organizations were equally represented and this can be partly related to the heavy investment of the IFA in the process (financially and as their primary conference). The group talked about how the ISA can ensure its needs and interests are met during these joint conferences, and to ensure our voice is heard.

Some participants who were also at the joint world congress in Hiroshima believed there was a good mix of content.

The Membership countries requested to balance the interests and to improve the standing of the ISA and PWS in this organizing committee and to have a bigger role, to be more involved. The new board will discuss these points and will decide how often these Joint World Congresses should take place.

Jean-Francois Leblanc who is on the organizing committee for the 2022 conference did represent to take into account the concerns expressed.

2021 Joint World Congress – Montreal, Canada

Jean-Francois Leblanc reported the current status and mentioned, for the next Joint World Congress in Montreal there are already 14 people in the organizing committee. Annie Bradberry, as the past ISA Chair is part of the organizing committee. The new ISA board will also get involved in the process to ensure the ISA board has a voice on the organizing committee. Jean-Francois will look into making this happen.

2022 World Congress for People Who Stutter – presentation

One bid to hold the next World Congress for People Who Stutter was put forward, Israel in 2022. Benny Ravid from AMBI presented their bid. The next congress probably will be held in October 2022 in Tel Aviv to help avoid the hottest time of year. AMBI will engage a professional agency to help with organizing the congress.

After discussions regarding the costs the bid gained nine votes. The organizing team should think about keeping cost low by offering alternative lower cost nearby accommodation options.

International Stuttering Awareness Day Online Conference (ISAD)

Bruce Imhoff spoke briefly about the online conference working with the team Anita Blom, Pamela Mertz, Dan Hudock, McKenzie Jemmett and Scott Palasik. He mentioned, that he will step back from organizing the ISAD after 2019.

The theme will be “Growth Through Speaking”. All national associations are called to bring this theme home and to make a paper, a video or whatever they want to share. Everyone can take part: PWS, SLP, researchers, children, parents.

The online conference runs, and will be “live” as always from Oct.1- Oct 22, 2019. Anyone wishing to contribute a paper or multimedia project will need to submit by the hard deadline of August 31, 2019. The organizing team needs the month of September to review content and prepare the site.

Other Business

The new ISA Board will decide when the next One Voice will be published.

Anita Blom and Hermann Christmann suggested to include a deadline (e.g. eight weeks) for submitting the agenda of the ISA Membership Meeting in the constitution.

The ISA membership meeting was closed at 4:30 pm.

Minutes prepared by Anja Herde.