Lightning Pitch


AAC Lightning Pitch

Wednesday July 26, 2023 at Conference Cancún.

Sponsored by Deakin University, Australia and Acapela Group


All applications must be received by Friday, July 7, 2023.

We are providing an opportunity for all researchers, clinicians, family members, and people who use AAC to share their great AAC-related ideas in a special session at the ISAAC Cancún conference. The only catch is – you have just 3 minutes and can use only 1 presentation slide!

This session gives you an opportunity to share your research idea or update, clinical breakthrough, or idea for new technology to a large and diverse audience and to receive feedback from the judges. Please note that the Lightning Pitch session is not open to product pitches from established, commercial device manufacturers.


Find out more! Watch these videos.

What is the Lightning Pitch? (English)


What is the Lightning Pitch? (Español)


Watch the 2018 Lightning Pitches


About Lightning Pitch presentations

If you would like to participate your presentation will need to be as follows:

  • A single static Power Point slide is permitted. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of your speech. In preparing the slide, remember that “less is more”. It doesn’t have to include text.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either a movement or speech.
  • You may use notes to keep you on track, but remember you need to excite and reach your audience.
  • Presentations must be in English.

Presentations will be judged by a panel of three experts, according to the set criteria (please see attached). The author of the winning pitch will receive $1000 CAD to spend on furthering their idea over the next 12 months. There will also be an Audience Power award for the most popular presentation.


What is the impact of winning the Lightning Pitch? 


Indigenous Languages Access in AAC, winner of the Lightning Pitch at ISAAC Connect 2021










Amino tay tak Mino mahci who win | Let’s Talk Health – Alex Balfour (Cree Language IRW)

“Winning the Lightning Pitch competition at ISAAC Connect 2021 provided us with the confidence to reach out to Indigenous Health Services in Manitoba. This enabled us to assemble a dynamic interdisciplinary team consisting of Interpreter Resource Workers (IRW), Nursing, Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy. Together, we collaborated and harnessed our collective expertise to craft an incredibly valuable tool. We are thrilled to be able to unveil our Indigenous Languages Access in AAC communication books, as a poster presentation at ISAAC 2023 in Cancun, showcasing the power of innovation and collaboration in advancing culturally aware healthcare.”  – Stacey McRuer



AAC for Caregivers Manual, winner of the Lightning Pitch at ISAAC Gold Coast 2018



“Winning the 2018 ISAAC lightning pitch enabled me to realise my dream of producing an AAC caregiver manual to support AAC implementation within the home. The prize money helped me to engage the services of an illustrator which made the manual more appealing and illustrated the core ideas. The manual was then made accessible online for free and has been listed on many other AAC/ SEN related websites. It also formed the content for caregiver training workshops which benefitted local caregivers of PWUAAC in Singapore.” – Deborah Yong

Get the manual here:


How to apply

  • If you are interested in participating, please send an email to with your name, country, organization (if applicable) and the title of your 3-minute presentation.
  • Please put “lightning pitch” in the subject line of your email.
  • If accepted, we will contact you with instructions to upload your slide. Your slide will need to be submitted by Monday July 17th.
  • We can only accept the first fifteen unique submissions we receive, so get your thinking caps on quickly! Please note that the Lightning Pitch session will not run with less than five submissions.
  • All applications must be received by Friday, July 7th 2023.


Judging Criteria – Lightning Pitches

Content and innovation

  1. Is this an innovative, novel, or creative idea?
  2. Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and to why this is a new idea?
  3. Did the presentation clearly describe the significance of the idea?
  4. Did the presenter clearly explain how this idea could happen?
  5. Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?

Engagement and Communication

  1. Did the presentation convey enthusiasm and make the audience want to know more?
  2. Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?
  3. Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience’s attention?
  4. Did the presenter communicate their pitch clearly and confidently?
  5. Were the topic, significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to the AAC audience?


Download the Lightning Pitch document.