Professional Awards

In addition to my academic qualifications, over the course of my career I have received a number of awards and commendations recognizing my contributions to meaning-making for those with severe communication problems. Here are a few of the ones of which I am most proud. (Please also see these testimonials from colleagues and students.)

Neville Cohen Memorial Lecture


Neville Cohen Memorial Lecture Award
Neville Cohen Award

Inaugurated in 2007 by the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication to honour the late Neville Cohen, who was one of the founding members of the CAAC; a man who inspired all he met to work towards access and communication for everyone in this country.

Persons are invited to deliver this lecture in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of AAC and severe disability in general.

Presented to
Erna Alant

The Edward A. and Mary Lou Otting Chair in Special Education


Otting Chair in Special Education Award
Otting Chair Award

The Otting Chair aims to capture the truly outstanding faculty of the Indiana University School of Education as embodied in a single individual. The chair is held for five years by a faculty member who has a distinguished career as a scholar and researcher in special education and rehabilitative services.

Established in 1991 by Ed and Mary Lou Otting, the chair serves to advance teaching, faculty collaboration and program development while keeping with the Ottings’ wishes to deliver quality education and research specifically in the area of special education.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) International Award




Presented to
Erna Alant, DPhil

For visionary leadership in pioneering “augmentative and alternative communication” for people with significant disabilities in South Africa and throughout the developing world.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise


Rolex Award for Enterprise
Rolex Award

Created by Montres Rolex S.A. to encourage outstanding personal enterprise.

In accordance with the decisions taken by the Selection Committee of the 1998 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, this certifies that

Erna Alant

has been chosen as one of the ten Associate Laureates for seeking to break new ground with the project

Communication for Life

See also…