Vice President Joseph R. Biden meets with Senator John Glenn and Annie Glenn at the Naval Observatory to receive and award from ASHA in early November.
(Official White House photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr has been awarded the 2009 Annie Award by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Rockville, Md.

ASHA annually presents the award to an individual who exemplifies the invincible spirit of Annie Glenn, wife of former Senator John Glenn, a tireless advocate for those with communication disorders.

"Vice President Biden spoke candidly about his stuttering when he was young and how he worked to overcome it," according to ASHA President Sue Hale. President Hale presented the award to Biden in his office at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, with Mrs Glenn, Senator Glenn, ASHA President-elect Tommy Robinson, and ASHA executive director Arlene Pietranton. Hale says, "Biden credits his fluency difficulties with shaping his character as well as his commitment to supporting individuals who face challenges to achieving their full potential."

Growing up, Biden dealt with the challenge of dysfluency, commonly known as stuttering. In his book, Promises To Keep, he writes about being called "Joe Impedimenta" by his high school classmates. They also referred to him as "Dash" because he "talked like Morse code."

Biden also credits his mother and father for helping him overcome the pain of his childhood communication problems. Today, Biden talks about how dealing with his stuttering helped to strengthen him and make him a better person.

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 135,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists.

[Source: ASHA]