Yes & No

Using the E-TRAN to Select Yes or No

Yes & No

The E-TRAN can be used to select "Yes" and "No".  However, there is very limited "real estate" on E-TRAN board. If a child has another way to express “Yes” and “No”, that frees up space on the board for more messages.

Below are some suggestions for gestures for "Yes" & "No" (if appropriate). Even if a child has very limited movement, there may still be a number of ways that they can indicate 'yes' and 'no'.

For many AAC users, the choice of signals for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is obvious and self-evident. For others, it might take some thinking to figure out which signals are the easiest to perform consistently.

NOTE:If a child has multiple communication partners who might have a hard time "reading" subtle gestures for "Yes" and "No", then it may be useful to have Yes/No symbols on the E-TRAN.

If Using a Signal/Gesture for "Yes" & "No"

The AAC User Should Choose the Signal

If possible, the child should be the one to decide what they want their ‘yes/no’ signals to be. It's important that the choice comes from the child, rather than having different communication partners suggest various signals for 'yes'.

The Signal Should be Consistent

The signal should be consistent (i.e. if possible, always use the same signal to indicate 'yes'.)

Training Communication Partners

Communication partners should be trained to recognize the 'yes/no' signals. If there are multiple caregivers and new communication partners, it may be helpful to post a sheet on the wall, explaining the ‘yes/no’ signals.


  • Nod 'Yes'
  • Give a 'thumbs up'
  • Look up
  • Raise eyebrows
  • Move body part
  • Vocalize (make a sound)
  • Wink one eye
  • Look directly at the communication partner
    (Even if a child uses a different signal for “yes” in day to day life, looking directly at the communication partner when using the E-TRAN board can be an easy-to-read signal for "yes")
  • Whatever action is easy to perform consistently


  • Shake head 'No'
  • Give a 'thumbs down'
  • Look away from communication partner
  • Look down
  • Close eyes

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