ATIA 2023 will take place January 31 to February 4, 2023 in Orlando, Florida and virtually.

The Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture hosted by: ATIA

Sponsored by: 

PRC-Saltillo logo

ATIA is excited to announce Ashley Mohesky as the 2023 Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecturer.

Ashley will share her perspective in her lecture, The Intersect of Success and AAC, that when a diagnosis affects the ability to verbally communicate, it can feel as though all hope is lost as it pertains to questioning how one can live a successful and meaningful life. However, once AAC is implemented, the question now becomes “How can I NOT be successful and have meaning in life without the help of AAC?”  Throughout the lecture, Ashley will share and discuss the many ways that AAC has positively impacted her life and how she has been successful over the course of 30 years, including graduating with a masters degree in Counseling Psychology and obtaining licensure as a therapist.

The lecture is hosted during the in-person conference in Orlando on Friday, February 3, 2023 and will be live streamed for free as part of the ATIA 2023 Virtual Event.

About Ashley Mohesky

Ashley Mohesky is from Texas. Ashley has a neurological disorder called Cerebral Palsy that affects her ability to walk and talk. Due to brain damage caused at birth, doctors predicted that she would not have a quality of life and at three years old, she was placed in special education. Ashley was evaluated for a communication device and after using it for a short time proved to excel at her studies and was transferred to general education. As Ashley reports, “During my time in school, I did everything that other kids my age did. In fact, I was voted prom queen during my senior prom. I also was on a bowling league for people with disabilities throughout college.”

Ashley graduated high school and attended Howard College where she received her Associate degree in General Studies. Ashley went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Angelo State University. It was during grad school that Ashley conducted a research study that examined how potential clients who were seeking help for their mental health would perceive a therapist who uses a communication device as it is very rare for an AAC user to be a mental health therapist. During Ashley’s practicum, she worked with college students with various mental health struggles.

Beyond her educational studies, Ashley has worked with school personnel on how to include students with disabilities who were in general education and with parents who have children that are in the beginning stages of their AAC journey. Ashley has presented to various groups including the Special Education Department of San Angelo Independent School District; to parents at a Transition Lunch and Learn for Parents of Children with Special Needs; to the Doctor of Psychology faculty at Kansas City University about the importance of training future therapists with disabilities; as well as the Southwestern Psychological Association Conference presenting research regarding how people perceive mental health therapists and AAC.

As of August 2022, Ashley became a licensed mental health therapist in the state of Texas, and she hopes to work with the disability community, as well as adults of all ages, and would like to specialize in working with parents who have a child with a disability.

About the Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture

The 26th Annual Edwin and Esther Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture will be presented at the ATIA 2023 Conference in Orlando, Florida.  ATIA is honored to host this exciting presentation by a person who communicates using an AAC device.

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. The lecture is delivered by a person who uses augmentative and alternative communication (PWUAAC) to communicate. The lecture is followed by a time of interaction with the audience, allowing the audience to ask questions and interact with a PWUAAC.