The Edwin and Esther Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture

The Edwin and Esther Prentke Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Distinguished Lecture was initiated in 1997 to honor the life and work of the late Edwin and Esther Prentke. The Prentkes dedicated their lives to developing technologies that liberate the lives of people with disabilities. This lecture is an invited presentation that recognizes and is delivered by an accomplished person who uses AAC. It has been a highly anticipated event of the annual ASHA Convention. Previous lectures have been characterized by the extraordinary abilities of the presenters, both as accomplished individuals in their own fields and as people who use AAC. Over the years, the lectures have been insightful and profound in their content and the question-and-answer session has been personal and enlightening to many. The Lecture itself has garnered a reputation as an inspirational and informational session at the Convention.

Since its inception, the Lecture has been sponsored by Prentke Romich Company, a manufacturer of AAC devices, and Semantic Compaction Systems, the developer of Minspeak™. ASHA Special Interest Group (SIG) 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, develops the lecture each year as a member of the Annual Convention Program Committee.


The nominee must

  • be a person who uses AAC
  • have public speaking experience and the ability to engage in an interactive question-and-answer session with the audience
  • have made a unique contribution to the field of AAC or had a unique experience as a person who uses AAC. Some contributions to the field of AAC might include one or more of the following
    • presentations at AAC conferences, meetings, seminars, or webinars;
    • participation in a leadership role in an AAC organization or foundation;
    • contributions to an AAC project;
    • employment in the field of AAC;
    • authorship in AAC publications such as newsletters, books, blogs, or journals;
    • work as an advocate for the field of AAC and/or communication disabilities; or
    • a recipient of other related award(s).

*Past recipients are not eligible to be nominated again.

General Requirements

Failure to adhere to all required components and instructions will result in rejection of the nomination, including any materials exceeding the specified word count and number of pages.

Lecture Content

The Lecture must meet all of the standards for learning activities offered for ASHA CEUs. In particular, the content of the lecture must be

  • scholarly in nature,
  • presented at the graduate level or above,
  • delivered by a presenter with recognized scholarly competence in the topic.

Selection Committee

Selection of the recipient is the responsibility of ASHA, through the Lecture Selection Committee of SIG 12. This 5-member committee comprises the SIG 12 Professional Development Manager, two members of the SIG 12 Coordinating Committee, a member of the Professional Development Committee, and an ASHA member-at-large who represents the interests of the AAC Institute.


The recipient receives a stipend of $3,500, made available by generous contributions from Prentke Romich Company and Semantic Compaction Systems. The stipend is intended to be applied toward travel and hotel expenses associated with the recipient's attendance at the annual ASHA Convention.


To submit a nomination, go to the Lecture Nomination site (log in using your ASHA web login and password). Nominations must be submitted online by Friday, January 22, 2016, 3:00 p.m. EST.

To gain access the nomination site, please e-mail [email protected]. Specify "AAC Lecture" in the subject line. You will receive instructions on accessing the site within two business days.

Past Recipients

View a list of past recipients.

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