University of Texas to create center to study stuttering

An aerial view of the main tower at the University of Texas at Austin during the coronavirus outbreak on March 23, 2020. Photo credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A new center for research and education into stuttering is being created at the University of Texas at Austin, the university announced Monday.

The Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Research and Education is being underwritten by a 10-year, $20 million legacy grant from Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank, who owns the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, the MLS Atlanta United, and the venue where both play, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The center will be founded and led by Dr. Courtney Byrd, a professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at the university. She also is a founder of other stuttering clinics and institutes at the University of Texas.

The center will advance understanding of the nature and effective treatment of stuttering; scale evidence-based programming to treat children, teenagers and adults worldwide; and create a pipeline of expert clinicians and researchers to make quality care accessible to all people, according to a university statement.

Stuttering has genetically been part of Blank’s family for several generations. He, too, is a person who stutters who previously attempted treatment to improve fluency, according to the statement.

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