Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) introduced legislation this week to establish the “Annie Glenn Communication Disorders Awareness Day” in honor of Mrs. Annie Glenn and to recognize all Ohioans who have struggled with a communication disorder. The legislation designates February 17, Annie Glenn’s birthday, as the official day of recognition.
“Annie Glenn has been a leading advocate for communication disorder awareness in Ohio and across the nation for many years,” said Sheehy. “By designating February 17 as an official state awareness day, we hope to educate the public on the challenges faced by working people who struggle with communication disorders.”
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.
“Annie and John Glenn are well-known American heroes,” said Patterson. “What has remained relatively unknown is the extent of Annie’s speech impediment. She not only overcame this challenge and became a dynamic public speaker, but she has used her status as a public figure to advocate on behalf of others with similar disorders.”
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.