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Emily Revealed

Emily softly smiling with her hands in her lap.

Emily, an eye gaze artist

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Emily would be speaking loud and clear.

Emily Shifflet, a prolific eye gaze artist, lived her life from a wheelchair and was nonverbal, which is often the reality for those living with Rett syndrome. Art played an essential part in her life from the moment her therapist installed digital painting software on her eye-tracking communication device.

This software released her inner artist, and she was an eye gaze artist with showings at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and The ARC of Pennsylvania. She has been a guest artist at SPLAT Family Art Studio in Annville and Hershey.

Not only did she create art, but also Emily loved music, wheelchair dancing, and watching all forms of creativity. She was a silent partner in a business, a yogini, an ice skater, and a patient educator for medical students at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Emily lived a full life with Rett syndrome until her recent passing at age 27 on March 11, 2023.

Discover more about Emily from her mom, Jenny

Misconceptions About Rett

Hear from Jenny to understand more about how Rett doesn’t stop Emily from pursuing her interests.

Words From Jenny

Jenny explains what it means to her and Emily—and all the families in the Rett community—to have others come “into the fold.”

Finding Purpose

Emily’s eye gaze graphic design software did so much more than just strengthen her eyes. Jenny discusses how becoming an eye gaze artist gave Emily purpose.

About Emily

Understanding that Rett is a physical condition, not an intellectual one, inspires a deeper appreciation of those living with Rett—like Emily, who wants to express herself in a way others will understand.

Emily’s Activities

Emily doesn’t let Rett syndrome stop her from pursuing her passions. Hear Jenny describe the favorite hobbies and activities of her vibrant daughter.

Inside this little body is a person who understands everything you are saying. She wants to be part of your world. She wants to know about you, she wants to share about herself.

Jenny, Emily’s Mom

A colorful mosaic of the Rett community’s experience with Rett syndrome, created by eye gaze artist, Emily Shifflet.

Explore the Rett Revealed mosaic