Keynote Speakers

Erna Alant, D.Phil.


Erna Alant received her bachelors, masters and PhD in the field of Speech- Language Pathology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She worked in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the Universities of the Witwatersrand as well as the University of Pretoria where she founded the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria in 1990.

After directing the CAAC for 20 years, she accepted a position at Indiana University in Bloomington as the Otting Chair in Special Education in 2009. Thereafter, she became the President of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. During her time at Indiana University she was instrumental in establishing the AAC-in-Action project, a collaborative venture between Monroe County Community School Corporation, Speech and Hearing Sciences and IU Special Education.  

In her latest book, Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Engagement and Participation published in 2017, she developed a new theoretical framework for understanding meaning-making in interpersonal interactions.

She retired from Indiana University and established her own consultancy ( specializing in professional development for teachers and therapists who work with students who use AAC in schools.