Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an accomplished NBA professional, on Monday spoke to future and current speech-language pathologists (SLP) at St. Ambrose University about his experiences surrounding stuttering and the creation of his non-profit, Change & Impact: Voices for Stuttering, according to a news release.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (St. Ambrose University )

Since 2020, Kidd-Gilchrist has shifted his focus from shooting basketballs on the court to advocating for the passage of a healthcare bill on Capitol Hill that supports stuttering intervention research and improves speech therapy insurance coverage.

“Many people do not realize speech therapy is not covered or is poorly covered by insurance,” said Kidd-Gilchrist, who did not receive speech therapy until 2011 when he attended the University of Kentucky.

The RiteCare Clinic, operated by the St. Ambrose Master of Speech-Language Pathology program, and funded by Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation and Davenport Valley, is the only clinic in Iowa that does not charge for the prevention, assessment, and intervention of speech-language pathology services for children and adults, the release says.

“As Michael noted, there are insurance companies that do not cover speech-language pathology services for children who stutter. Part of the role of a speech-language pathologist is to reduce barriers to accessing those services, and we are so grateful Michael is helping to spread this awareness,” said Elisa Huff, PhD, CCC-SLP and MSLP program director at St. Ambrose University.

During his presentation, Kidd-Gilchrist used a tapping technique taught by his SLP as he shared his journey and the decision to become a vocal advocate