In cooperation with the Dutch Stutter Federation (NFS, a division of stotteren.nl) and singer Sanne Hans, Vodafone has developed a stutter app: Get The Flow.
The goal of the app is to train your speech in a cool manner and to boost children's self-confidence. At the same time, the app brings children into contact with each other, because they can 'stereo rap' with each other. It staves off the feeling they are the only ones stuttering. The app contains several exercises and raps written by well-known rappers like Broederliefde, Sevn Alias, Kevin, Soufiane Eddyani and Jairzinho. Ali B wrote the top dog rap, an alliterating tongue twister as the ultimate challenge.
With 'Get The Flow' children who stutter are encouraged to train their speech, they can record raps and rap in pairs with other stuttering children. With this mobile tool Vodafone wants to contribute to the mission of NFS and Sanne Hans to convince children it doesn't matter whether you stutter or not. The app is part of Powerful Connections, a project with which Vodafone demonstrates how technology can connect people and better society.
"We are very pleased with this initiative. Especially for kids, for whom self-confidence is a big deal, there is little cool practice material," says Anja van der Vlist at NFS. "By rapping you enter the speech flow which makes speaking easier. In addition, rhythm is also an important element that can improve the flow. And also for children that don't stutter, this is a fun way to practice with speech and diction."
A test panel – made up of children that follow speech therapy – is enthusiastic about 'Get The Flow'. The kids consider the app a cool supplement to their existing speech exercises. "I like it that your rap is recorded and that you can watch videos of other children!" Nine out of ten kids would invite friends to rap together using the app.
In 2017, singer Sanne Hans launched the app in the Bitterzoet club in Amsterdam. Accompanied by her fans she rapped Ali B's tongue twister, the top dog of the app. "From my own experience I know how awkward it can be when your self-confidence is hampered by stuttering. With this app children can work on their speech and rap together, in a cool way. I do believe it will give a boost to their self-confidence and their social skills. When I was young, we didn't have such things. I would have had a great time with it."
Mini rapper from Volendam
To demonstrate what rapping can mean to children who stutter, Vodafone has compiled a short video about Mitch, a 12-year old boy from Volendam who will be the first to use the app and serve as an example to all the other children who stutter.