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 highlighted 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, coordinates 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 
  • demonstrate the ability to engage in an interactive question-and-answer session with the audience
  • exhibit achievements that inspire others who support people who use AAC systems (e.g., author, advocate, artist, blogger, businessperson, educator, etc.)

      The nomination must include

      • a 3- to 5-minute video demonstrating the nominee producing generative language (e.g., during an unscripted question-and-answer session or spontaneous conversation)
      • information about the proposed content of the lecture, including a title, abstract, and short summary

      *Past recipients are not eligible to be nominated again.

      General Requirements

      • Current members of the related ASHA Special Interest Group Coordinating Committee(s) and Selection Committee(s) are not eligible to be nominated, nor are they eligible to sponsor/co-sponsor a nomination.
      • Nominees have never violated the spirit of LC 7-94:
        "That no member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) holding an elected office, staff position, or appointment to an ASHA board, committee, council, or task force shall hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability."
      • Nominees are living at the time the award decision is made. Should the nominee no longer be living, it is the responsibility of the sponsor to notify the Special Interest Group Coordinating Committee and Selection Committee at
      • U.S. citizenship/residency is not a requirement for nomination eligibility.

      Failure to adhere to all required components and instructions will result in rejection of the nomination.

        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 committee includes the SIG 12 Professional Development Manager, two (2) members of the SIG 12 Coordinating Committee, and up to three (3) additional volunteers.


        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.


        The nomination period is closed and the presenter for the 2019 lecture has been selected. Additional information, including the session description, will be available in August 2019.

        Please send any questions to and specify "AAC Lecture" in the subject line; you will receive a response within two business days.

        Past Recipients

        View a list of past recipients.

        ASHA Corporate Partners