STACHA - Stuttering Experience Device

The STACHA is a device which enables wearers to experience the symptoms of stuttering. When a person with this disorder stutters, a distinguishing feature is an overactive usage of the muscles in the throat. This collar-like device has been developed to enable wearers to experience a realistic sensation of stuttering, by sending a faint current of electricity into the throat area, which constricts the muscles and re-creates a stuttering condition, making it difficult to properly pronounce. Because persons who have difficulty with pronunciation will tend to stutter when among larger groups of people, under consideration is a feature to have the device use voice recognition to pick up sounds and measure audio levels – thereby allowing it to, for example, apply greater stimulus to the throat in accordance with the surrounding audio levels. Also under consideration are plans to incorporate the device in educational environments.

Exhibition at SXSW

Full video

Problem As you can see in the video, stutters lose confidence in communication, stop approaching people, and miss out on chances in life. Through this process, people who stutter easily become people with social anxiety disorder. We defined that this is the core problem. Development intentions and appeal points:
Stuttering is an unseen, isolated obstacle. Unlike people with severe stuttering, people with slight stuttering often go unnoticed by the surroundings. All people with stuttering have severe stuttering when they are young, but as they experience stuttering more, they get embarrassed about it and they will substitute other words to avoid stuttering, which makes them light stutterers. At the same time, the surroundings will notice their stuttering less and less. The producer as well as narrator of this documentary wishes to convey the figures of stutterers who strive to take another good look at themselves through society by filming a lady who is troubled by her stuttering, yet decided to face it instead of treating it as a flaw.

Scene of Filming Documentary

Outline and summary:
This documentary covers a stutterer who is troubled all by herself. Her life gradually became more lively after she found someone with whom she can share her troubles with. The protagonist, Nozomi Koyanagi, had been troubled by her stuttering since she was young. She became anorexic due to her troubles that she could not share with anybody, and there was even a time where she could not talk with her own mother. Even when she worked as a counselor, she experienced difficulties from her stuttering that people could not comprehend. She did not try to face this obstacle properly, and continued to carry her troubles by herself. Then, she attended the self-support stutterer group "Hirose Counseling Class." She was able to gradually accept herself as someone with stuttering by sharing her troubles with other stutteres who carry the same troubles.
Challenge By experiencing the symptoms of stuttering, we can spread awareness of this issue. Thereby our challenge is reducing instances of childhood bullying which will lead to reduced complexes and raise the self esteem. Goal

Website

This is our goal. From this experience, general people can get an understanding and empathy for stuttering people. This project seeks to change the way the society sees speech impediment, instead of treating it as a problem.

Vision Animation

Concept of Device Movie

This device was featured in the blog of the current program that I am enrolled in. http://dsi.sva.edu/blog/2017/01/yuka-fukuoka-18-will-present-speech-disorder-device-at-sxsw/