AIS Founder and Executive Director Catherine Otto Montgomery (1951–2010)

There are countless friends and supporters in the history of the American Institute for Stuttering, but AIS exists because of, more than anyone else, Catherine Otto Montgomery. It was her vision and tireless work that built AIS into a dynamic organization that has helped people who stutter worldwide.

After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and master’s from Southern Connecticut State University, Catherine trained at the Hollins Communications Research Institute to specialize in the treatment of stuttering. Expanding upon her training, she founded her own practice, Total Immersion Fluency Training, in New York City in the mid-1980s. Her legacy of powerful and healing work had begun.

"Catherine did nothing short than save my life – if not literally, then certainly figuratively… I will think of her every time I have a little victory, because she taught me it was possible in the first place."

Steve Lipsky

In 1997, Catherine transformed her practice into the American Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Professional Training. She made AIS a non-profit organization to accept donations and provide scholarships to those in financial need. She expanded her reach by offering pediatric services and training both emerging and seasoned clinicians in the treatment of stuttering. She led and inspired the AIS staff to grow as human beings and to do their very best work in the field of fluency. 

Catherine served as the Chair of the Specialty Board for Fluency Disorders and was active in the project of creating guidelines for training specialists in the area of stuttering treatment.  She was involved in the stuttering community worldwide, presenting workshops and seminars throughout the U.S. and Europe.

"Mostly, I think, she put the cause of stuttering treatment on the map. She brought her crusade before the public like no one else before. We all are better off having known her and some will continue to grow because of her legacy."

Mark Power

In 2005, Catherine, through the American Institute for Stuttering, lobbied in Washington D.C. for increased federal funding for stuttering research and clinical treatment. This was the first time any advocacy for stuttering had been done. As a result, language regarding stuttering was inserted into a bill, another first. In 2006, she published a chapter titled “From the Hub to the Spoke” sharing her approach to the treatment of stuttering in the book Current Issues in Stuttering Research and Practice.

Catherine dedicated over thirty years of her life to transforming the lives of people who stutter. She was a master clinician, a generous colleague, a wise mentor and teacher, and a leader and innovator in the field of fluency disorders.

"Catherine was the personification of the word hope. Not the pie-in-the-sky if I wait for it will miraculously happen variety of hope that fills the pages of bad novels; but rather the kind of hope that comes from working tirelessly to transform lives – and actually succeeding in doing so for many hundreds of people."

Jon Metcalf

AIS Founder and Executive Director Catherine Otto Montgomery passed away in May of 2010 at the age of 58. Sadly, future clients and friends of AIS will not have the opportunity to know her. But through AIS and our work, they can certainly know the person that she was, how she cared for not only people who stutter, but just people.

This place is a testament to her hopeful spirit that could not be suppressed, which was ultimately embodied in the brave and graceful way that she faced cancer. She loved life and hope and peace and taught so many others to do the same.

Thank you, Catherine, for everything. You are loved and missed.

Catherine Montgomery Scholarship Fund

In honor of Catherine's memory, the Catherine Montgomery Scholarship Fund has been created to help those in financial need to receive stuttering therapy. If you would like to contribute to the fund, there are three ways to donate:

  1. Credit card: Call 1-877-3STUTTER (877-378-8883) or (212) 633-6400 to submit your credit card information over the phone.
  2. Check: Mail a check made payable to 'AIS' with 'Catherine Montgomery Scholarship Fund' in the memo field to
    American Institute for Stuttering
    27 W 20th Street, Suite 1203
    New York, NY 10011
  3. Online: Donate securely using Paypal by credit card, debit card, or direct withdrawal from your bank account. No registration is required. Click the 'Donate' button below.

AIS is an independent non-profit organization as specified by IRS Section 501(c)(3). Your donation will be fully tax-deductible.

EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE

The quotes above are just a few of the 200 comments posted on a memorial page on our blog. To read the comments and to post your own, visit Catherine's memorial page on our blog.

SLIDESHOW TRIBUTE

At the 4th Annual Freeing Voices, Changing Lives Benefit Gala, a slideshow tribute to Catherine was played at the start of the evening. To view this tribute on YouTube, click on the image below.

Specialized Therapy

For Teens

One-Week Intensive Program
Our most comprehensive group therapy option. For new clients.

Individual Therapy
One-on-one weekly therapy with a specialized clinician. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Refresher Therapy
Former/current AIS clients have various group therapy options to refresh their skills, including evening courses and one-day refreshers.

Client Workshops
Group therapy workshops on specialized topics. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Teen Group
Weekly support group for teens 13–17.

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For Adults

3-Week Intensive Program
Our most comprehensive group therapy option. For new clients.

Evening Courses
Convenient group therapy courses in the evening. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Individual Therapy
One-on-one weekly therapy with a specialized clinician. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Refresher Therapy
Former/current AIS clients have various group therapy options to refresh their skills, including evening courses and one-day refreshers.

Client Workshops
Group therapy workshops on specialized topics. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

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For Children

Individual Therapy
One-on-one weekly therapy with a specialized clinician. For new and former AIS clients.

Kids Group
Supportive and fun group therapy for children.

Preschoolers
What to do if your child starts stuttering.

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American Institute for Stuttering
27 W 20th St. Suite 1203
New York, NY 10011

phone: (212) 633-6400
fax: (212) 220-3922

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27 West 20th Street Suite 1203 New York, NY 10011
1-877-3STUTTER  www.stutteringtreatment.org