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Flight of The Annie

A mission to the International Space Station lifting off March 21 from Kazakhstan will carry some uniquely meaningful cargo: a miniature replica of “The Annie,” the premier public award of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The award is named after Annie Glenn, tireless advocate for people with communication disorders and spouse of the late John Glenn, one of America’s most famous astronauts. NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel is bringing the Annie replica onboard to celebrate the importance of communication and the work of audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

'Annie' and an Astronaut (The ASHA Leader)

ASHA Curriculum Activities to Engage Students in Space Mission

Watch a video of the launch.

Astronaut Drew Feustel

Astronaut Drew Feustel celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month from the International Space Station.

John and Annie Glenn, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, Indira and Drew Feustel

John and Annie Glenn with Annie Award winners Gabby Giffords and Astronaut Mark Kelly. They're accompanied by speech-language-pathologist Indira Feustel and Astronaut Drew Feustel.

NASA Interviews

Astronaut Drew Feustel talks about Annie Glenn, the Annie award, and the importance of communication. Source: NASA

Astronaut Drew Feustel on the importance of communication in space. Source: NASA

About Annie Glenn

Annie Glenn became an inspiration to and an advocate for people with communication disorders when she began speaking publicly after receiving life-changing treatment for stuttering. Since 1987, ASHA has annually awarded The Annie Glenn Award to those who publicly champion communication-related matters in the same spirit as Annie Glenn. Read Annie's full bio.

ASHA honored Annie Glenn at the 2015 ASHA Convention Annie Award ceremony.

Annie and John Glenn speak about the importance of getting professional help for communication.

About the Annie Award

The Annie has gone to well-known names who publicly champion communication-related matters in the same spirit as Annie Glenn. Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly received the Annie in 2012 for the inspiring model they set as Giffords regained her ability to communicate after being seriously wounded by a gunman. ABC Television show "Speechless" won in 2017 for its portrayal of a nonverbal character with cerebral palsy, portrayed by an actor who also has cerebral palsy.

Actor Cedric Yarbrough on what it means to him for "Speechless" to receive an Annie.

Annie Award Recipients: 1987–2017

  • 1987 – James Earl Jones
  • 1988 – Jackie Torrence
  • 1989 – Phyllis Frelich
  • 1990 – William Meredith
  • 1991 – Lane Davis
  • 1992 – Henry C. Rogers
  • 1993 – Marlee Matlin
  • 1994 – Larry Brown
  • 1995 – Heather Whitestone
  • 1996 – John "Scatman" Larkin
  • 1997 – I. King Jordan
  • 1998 – Michael Zaslow
  • 1999 – Jenny Craig
  • 2000 – Jan Curtis
  • 2001 – Award not given
  • 2002 – Johnny Bush
  • 2003 – Bob Love
  • 2004 – Jane Seymour
  • 2005 – Mick Fleetwood
  • 2006 – Vonetta Flowers
  • 2007 – Bob and Lee Woodruff
  • 2008 – Julie Andrews
  • 2009 – Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. & Mrs. Annie Glenn
  • 2010 – Joey McIntyre
  • 2011 – David Seidler
  • 2012 – Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly
  • 2013 – Erik Weihenmayer
  • 2014 – Bill and Willie Geist
  • 2015 – Special recognition of Mrs. Annie Glenn
  • 2016 – Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.)
  • 2017 – Speechless (TV Series)

ASHA Corporate Partners