HCRI was founded by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering with scientific methods and new treatment approaches. Under Dr. Webster´s direction, Roanoke, Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of innovative, scientifically based therapy approaches.
The Institute's work has enabled the definition of specific speech behaviors that replace the distorted muscle activities that produce stuttering. This has led to therapy developments, ongoing treatment refinements, and the creation of new treatment tools that enhance fluency outcomes. U.S. patents have been awarded to HCRI for some of these stuttering therapy innovations.
Our research scientists have tested and retested HCRI´s therapy system with thousands of people who stutter. In addition, we have created new ways to use technology in therapy that make the learning of lasting fluency skills straightforward and practical.
Each of HCRI's intensive stuttering therapy programs lasts 12 days. The Institute´s research shows that between 90 and 93% of program participants acquire fluency by the conclusion of treatment. Follow-up studies reveal that 70% to 75% retain fluent speech post therapy. For more information on HCRI stuttering treatment and results, click here
HCRI clinicians have treated more than 6,300 people, aged 11 to 73, from across the U.S. and 50 countries.Clients include broadcaster John Stossel of Fox News; Annie Glenn, wife of Senator and Astronaut John Glenn; as well as athletes, teachers, engineers, students, doctors, military personnel, business professionals, police officers, actors, paramedics, and other individuals from all walks of life.
Before coming to HCRI, most program participants tried other therapies for stuttering without long-term success. HCRI´s approach is designed to teach fluency skills that can be maintained for a lifetime.
- The Virginia General Assembly unanimously passed a house joint resolution commending HCRI for its ground-breaking research and therapy innovation.
- HCRI partnered with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders on a pioneering study that confirmed a genetic link to stuttering. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- HCRI was recognized by Virginia Business magazine for its 40-year track record of innovation.
- HCRI´s stuttering treatment program was the distinguished recipient of the First Award for Scientific Merit at a national convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- HCRI media coverage includes the New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, People, Parade, Sports Illustrated, 20/20, the Today show, Nightline, CBS Morning News,and Good Morning America.
- Dr. Webster, who is also a licensed clinical psychologist, received the Outstanding Contributions in the Application of Psychology award from the Virginia Psychological Association.
Location and Facilities
HCRI is conveniently located in Roanoke, Virginia with easy access to major interstates and a regional airport. Situated in a tranquil setting with breathtaking views of theBlue Ridge Mountains, the Institute is close to area restaurants, lodging, medical facilities, major shopping malls, and abundant outdoor recreation.