M-20 Eye Transfer Communication System
OverviewA series of messages displayed on a transparent polycarbonate panel with a center hole for communication through direct eye contact.
Eye transfer communication is an alternative to oral speech for persons so severely disabled that their only reliable voluntary action is eye movement.
Jack Eichler, a Connecticut businessman, created the first publicized eye transfer communication system (ETRAN) for a totally paralyzed friend in the early 1970s. His concept of messages displayed on a transparent Plexiglas® panel has since been replicated, with interesting variations, by many individuals.
The fundamental rule of eye transfer communication is that both the Speaker and Listener always have direct eye contact through the center of the transparent message display panel. A rectangular piece is cut out of the center to allow unobstructed, face-to-face contact—enhancing the interpersonal aspects of communication. The panel should be placed approximately 2 feet from the Speaker and Listener.
The Listener also will be visually tracking the message selection/confirmation process from the same vantage point as the Speaker. This minimizes misinterpretation of the Speaker's gaze considerably as you will experience in actual practice.