Low-tech communication solutions are an important part of an AAC toolkit. The E-Tran is a rectangular frame with a hole in the centre, through which communication partners can see each other.

Different words, symbols, pictures or letters are stuck onto the frame and the non-verbal person looks at the option they want to select. The partner watches the user's eye movements to see which of the options on the frame is being selected.

This is a lovely way of introducing choice-making to early communicators. Begin with only a few choices -perhaps two. In the pictures below, the user first looks at the symbol for "blow bubbles" (from the Symbol Stix symbol library) and then back atthe partner. It is important to establish the habit of the non-verbal user looking at their selection and then back at the communication partner, who then confirms the selection.

User looks at their choice

User looks back at the partner to confirm the choice.

You can slowly add more choices to the frame. The maximum is determined by the cognitive ability of the user and theaccuracy of their eye movements.

For users who would like to spell words out a colour coded system works well. If the user wants to use the letter "B" the ylook at the blue circle to indicate the colour choice and then at the corner containing the letter "B". They then look at the partner to confirm.

The user looks at the blue circle toindicate that he will be selecting a blue letter.

The user looks at the cornercontaining the letter B to confirm which blue letter he required.

This is a good method for people whose eye pointing is not very accurate. You could also colour code the border or background of a symbol. - Lisa Ellis