What is an E-TRAN?

E-TRAN: Making selections by looking at an item

What is an E-TRAN Board?

Pointing to, or handing you objects and pictures can be a useful way for a non-verbal child to communicate.*

Non-verbal children who have limited hand function may not be able to point to, or hold on to objects or pictures in order to communicate. These children still need a way to communicate and make choices.

Other children may not yet have learned to select pictures as a means of communicating. However, it’s a natural response for most children to look at interesting things which are placed in front of them. These children can gradually learn to make an association between what they look at, and ‘rewards’/results.

E-TRAN stands for “Eye Transfer”. It is also sometimes referred to as an “E-TRAN frame” or an “eye gaze board”.

An E-TRAN is like an empty picture frame. The frame is placed in front of the child, with meaningful pictures or objects stuck around its edges, facing the child. There is a hole in the middle of the board. The communication partner sits across from the child, so that they are able to see the child’s face through the hole.

When the child looks at a picture or an object on the E-TRAN, the communication partner (sitting opposite), can see where their eyes are going. This lets them know which item the child is indicating.

Thank you to CALL Scotland, for generously allowing us to base our instructions on their handout: 'Eye Pointing and using an Etran Frame' 

*A Word About Language
Both adults and children use E-TRAN boards. To make these instructions easier to read, we have used the word “child” throughout.