Successfully Speaking

 "Achieve Excellence in Communication"
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Lynda Katz Wilner, M.S., CCC-SLP is a corporate communication trainer and 
a Speech and Language Pathologist.
She is the founder and director of Successfully Speaking, a woman-owned communication consulting firm, which specializes in professional speaking skills, foreign accent modification, and regional dialect reduction for native and non-native speakers.
Ms. Wilner developed and published Medically Speaking: Accent Modification for the Medical Profession, The Medically Speaking Inventory: Assessment of Accented Speech, and collaborated with Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker in the development of  RULES, Medically Speaking RULES
and Medically Speaking Idioms.
She trains individuals, groups, and trainers around the United States with her unique programs. 
Our Vision
Successfully Speaking enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to achieve excellence in communication and maximize their professional success.
September 2010
The issue of discrimination surfaced with a potential non-native English speaking client who was motivated to improve his communication skills in the workplace. He inquired about the services provided by Successfully Speaking and after he presented the information to his director, he was informed that his company would not support or fund accent modification training because it was a form of discrimination.

I'd like to respond to this point of view. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991 protects individuals from accent or language discrimination due to national origin. However, if a particular job requires effective communication/verbal skills, then it is not discriminatory to pass over a foreign born employee with a strong accent for one who has superior verbal skills; Fragante v. City and County of Honolulu, 888F.2d 591, 696 (9th Cir. 1989). The key point is that when a foreign accent "materially interferes" with the individual's job performance, his/her accent may become an acceptable deciding factor.

If an individual recognizes the need for effective communication and independently seeks out training as a form of personal and professional development, how could this be a form of discrimination? I welcome your comments on this issue.
Diversity in the workplace has increased significantly over the past ten years and many companies are realizing the benefit of providing communication skills training to increase their employee's performance and improve the efficiency in the workplace. Help your employees achieve excellence in communication!
Foreign Accent Modification on CNN News
This past week, CNN aired a story about individuals seeking out Accent Modification training to increase their employability. 
2010 MD SHRM State Conference
For those attending the MD SHRM State Conference on October 10-12 at the Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, please stop by the Successfully Speaking  booth. Let's discuss how you can achieve communication excellence in your workplace.

We will be raffling off a free one-hour communication consultation for you or an employee. I hope to see you there.
Please contact us if you have any questions about how to approach employees, colleagues, or friends who are having difficulty with communication skills. contact us 
How it is presented will influence their success in the training process.
ESL RULES, LLC is a division of Successfully Speaking. We develop training programs and materials for non-native English speakers. Learn more about us at
With warm regards, 
Lynda Katz Wilner, M.S.
Successfully Speaking
Telephone/Fax: 410.356.5666