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Ohio House marks Annie Glenn's birthday with passage of Communication Disorders Awareness Day

Feb. 17 would educate public on challenges faced by those with communication disorders
February 17, 2016
Democratic Newsroom

State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) today applauded passage from the House of legislation to establish the “Annie Glenn Communication Disorders Awareness Day” in honor of  Mrs. Annie Glenn and to recognize all Ohioans who struggle with a communication disorder. House Bill 431, sponsored by Reps. Sheehy and Patterson, designates February 17, Annie Glenn’s birthday, as the official day of recognition.

“Today, the Ohio House of Representatives celebrated Annie Glenn’s 96th birthday by honoring her as an advocate for communication disorders,” said Sheehy. “Afflicted with a severe stutter, Annie Glenn overcame her disorder and become a role model for others facing a similar challenge.”

Mrs. Glenn, married to former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn for over seventy years, struggled for most of her life with a speech impediment that caused her to stutter eighty-five percent of her words. In 1973, she completed an intensive program to address her stutter at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. Since then, Mrs. Glenn has been able to speak freely and has even become a noted public speaker.

“Effective communication is critical for all relationships to grow and thrive, be those at home, work, or school,” said Patterson. “Given her challenges, Annie Glenn is a role model for all of us who seek to improve our communication with others.  It is therefore fitting to honor her efforts on this day.”

Mrs. Glenn remains a vocal advocate for raising awareness about communication disorders, and has received many awards for her activism. She serves on the National Deafness and other Communication Disorders Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health.