Ned Cullen - E-Tran Frame User

My name is Ned Cullen, I was diagnosed with MND 16 years ago. I lost my ability to speak about 11 years ago which impacted on my life incredibly. Prior to losing my ‘voice’ my SALT gave me a Liberator E-Tran Communication Frame (we call it the board) knowing the inevitable deterioration in my speech. The board lived in the bottom of my wardrobe until I finally needed it.

I use the board to live my everyday life - it is a critical item which I could not do without. It gives me the ability to remain as an individual person, able to express my wishes, needs, feelings just as though I had not lost my ‘voice’. I have used and tried various eye gaze systems and other electronic communication devices but none are as quick, portable, durable and probably most importantly face-to-face with the person I am talking to. The board does not require batteries, it works in all environments and with some basic training anyone can use it. The importance of communication cannot be overstated - the board gives me the ability to communicate to everyone around me.

Image taken from

The Etran frame is held by the communication partner. The hole in the middle is used by the communication partner to see the user and follow their gaze, and the letters on their side are used to identify which set of letters/colour the user is looking at.

Usually the user looks at the block in which the letter is contained and then looks at the colour that the letter is. However, Ned does this the other way round, colour then block of letters.

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