News Archive

New Awareness Materials

New Awareness Materials

The NSDA is excited to introduce some new tools help raise awareness about spasmodic dysphonia. A new button, awareness cards, and visor card for your car are available. Click here to order the new materials!    More...

This button is a creative way to let others know about the spasmodic dysphonia. It measures 1.75" x 2.75" and was designed by Andrea Butteworth who has SD. Andrea shared that the goal of these buttons is help many feel more confident and open the door for conversations about our unique vocal disability. Click here to read Andrea's story.

Explaining that you have a voice disorder can help make a situation less stressful. Three new business size cards provide an easy way explain to others about spasmodic dysphonia and raise awareness. These are designed to keep in your wallet and show people to help explain why you might be having difficulty talking. For cards to give to people to explain what spasmodic dysphonia is, order our 3-fold card.

This visor card (5.5” x 8.5”) will help explain what spasmodic dysphonia is, especially in stressful situations. Special thanks to Deb Lindsey who suggested this idea to the NSDA.

Click here to order the new materials! 

Investment in Research: NSDA grant yields larger return

The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association funded a seed grant for Dr. Teresa Kimberley from the University of Minnesota to investigate how the brain areas involved in vocalization are connected to each other, and with the other areas of the brain, and how those connections are different in people with SD compared to people without SD.   More...

Our investment in this research has allowed the collection of essential preliminary data that was used to submit a request for a grant to the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We are thrilled to report that Dr. Kimberley has been awarded $1.5 million dollars to continue this important research on spasmodic dysphonia!  The grant is entitled, A Multimodal Assessment of Neurophysiology in Focal Dystonia, and we will update you on progress and recruitment! Thank you for your support to make this work possible.

Finding Your Voice in the Workplace

Professionally, Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is known as the “Introvert Whisperer,” helping people to find career success by providing unique, actionable career advice. Dorothy will be sharing her professional advice but with twist of her the personal understanding of having spasmodic dysphonia. Click here to read her first article, “Own Your Voice Professionally but Don’t Let It Define You,” More...

Dorothy also has had spasmodic dysphonia for about 20 years, first noticing it when she was making a presentation to her CEO. “I wasn’t nervous but my voice had a definite “warble” to it. It took another seven years for it to get to the point where I knew something was wrong. I guess I’m lucky and grateful that it never occurred to me to do anything differently because of my SD. I have viewed it as just another challenge life has thrown my way but I do acknowledge that for many people with SD, it has been a life-altering journey.”  

SD and the Americans Disabilities Act

Many individuals with voice disorders like spasmodic dysphonia may not realize that their conditions can be classified as disabilities under the law, entitling them to workplace accommodations and time off to pursue medical treatment.  More...

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) resulted in changes to the legal definition of disability and substantially affected how those with voice disorders may qualify for reasonable accommodations under the law. However, there has been little guidance and a lack of awareness about these changes in the voice literature. In this article, Dr. Derek Isetti examines the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the changes made in 2008 (ADAAA), and how the law applies to individuals with voice disorders. Click here to read the article.

Meeting Summary from the NSDA Eastern Educational Conference

Over 70 people attended the Eastern Educational Conference hosted by the NSDA on November 5, 2016, in Philadelphia, PA. Click here to read the full summary More...

Special thanks to Fred Hosier, NSDA Board Member and Co-Leader of the Southeastern PA SD Support Group, for moderating the proceedings and preparing a summary from the conference. It covers the first four sessions of the meeting which focused on the medical aspects of spasmodic dysphonia. After lunch, participants heard from a speech language pathologist, two support group leaders Cathie Leister (pictured) of the Southeastern PA SD Support Group, and Lois Jackson of the DC Metro Spasmodic Dysphonia Support Group), and a doctor with her own life-changing condition who uses mindfulness meditation and teaches it to others. Click here to read the full summary

Singer with SD Finishes CD with a Little Help from Friend

Tony Johns thought his singing career was over after being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia over 20 years ago. More...

But with help from friends, a project that he never thought would be completed, a CD called "Natural" was recently released. Tony was interviewed by the New Castle Herald and he also shared his experiences with the NSDA in this interview.

2016 Midge Kovacs Award Winner: Carol Doles

The 2016 Midge Kovacs Annual Award was presented to Eastern Regional Representative and Central Virginia Support Group Leader Carol Doles. She has done an outstanding job providing support and leadership in the NSDA community, organizing multiple support groups, mentoring leaders and raising awareness. More...

According to Carol, "I am so humbled. I feel so blessed to be a part of the NSDA. I attribute my ability to cope with SD to all the efforts of our organization. It is so natural to want to tell everyone about it!" The award is named after Midge Kovacs from New York who started one of the first SD support groups. She began writing a newsletter called Our Voice to share information about SD as well as experiences of people living with SD. She encouraged all of us with SD to think beyond our individual voice problems. Click here to read more about Carol.

Visit to Local NSDA Support Group Help Woman Find Her Voice

Yvonne Kaminski was urged by her daughter, Jessica, to attend a meeting of the local NSDA Spasmodic Dysphonia Support Group in Milwaukee, WI. It was there that she received encouragement to give treatment another try and was referred to Dr. Joel Blumin. More...

The results from that visit made the local news, including a story in the publication, "On Milwaukee" and an interview with the news station, WTMJ, in Milwaukee. Yvonne also shared her experiences with the NSDA in this interview.

NSDA Honors Diane Rehm

After 37 years on National Public Radio, NSDA Honorary Director Diane Rehm retired from hosting her radio show in December.  More...

To mark this special occasion, DC Metro SD Support Group Leader Lois Jackson presented a book of letters from our dedicated SD community to express appreciation for her courage, leadership, inspiration, willingness to participate in NSDA conferences, and publicly "carry the banner" raising awareness of SD. Lois shared that Diane was very touched and appreciative of the gift and sentiments. You can still hear Diane as she just started a podcast called "On My Mind." Click here to read more about Diane's career on NPR.

You Are The Expert: SD and Social Situations

With the holidays approaching, we asked "How do you handle social situations, like family gatherings or parties?" We received some great responsed and complied them in a list. Click here to download it. We hope you find it helpful! This is the first version and we will keep adding to it. More...

If you have additional suggestions, please let us know, because all of you are the experts!