AIS was founded in 1998 by Catherine Otto Montgomery, a talented and much-loved speech-language-pathologist who worked with people who stutter for over 30 years. Aware of the great need for universally affordable treatment options, specialized professional training, and increased public education about stuttering, Catherine transformed her private practice into a non-profit center dedicated to meeting these needs.
As a therapist, Catherine promoted the use of integrated treatment protocols that address both the overt symptoms of stuttering as well as the underlying emotional and cognitive components. She developed an intensive therapy program that addressed stuttering holistically, recognizing the complex nature of the disorder.
Early on, AIS became a powerful voice in Washington, calling for an increase in government support for stuttering research. AIS was instrumental in successfully persuading Congress to introduce groundbreaking legislation, and a State of the Science Conference on Stuttering followed. As a result, the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders launched targeted research initiative on stuttering.
AIS remains dedicated to carrying on the legacy of its founder, striving everyday to help people who stutter to “Speak Freely, and Live Fearlessly.”