My school district has many programs and devices to help students with disabilities. Unfortunately, there is one student to whom all the augmented communication devices have not worked for. This student has a rare form of PKU, which severely limits his ability to control his muscles. Eyegaze software, like Tobii, has been tried unsuccessfully due to calibration issues given the student's erratic muscle spasms. Our student is smart and has a great sense of humor, but he has no way to show it. He cannot communicate, other than with eye direction and facial expressions with his instructional aide. This makes educational tasks almost impossible.
EagleEyes is an innovative eye-controlled technology that acts as a mouse replacement. Electrodes are placed around the user's dominant eye. Electrical signals near the eye are magnified and converted into a mouse cursor.
This technology would provide a gateway to communication opportunities that most kids take for granted.
Our student with the physical disability is currently unable to converse with peers. We plan to pair students up to learn from one another using the device. This would have a profound social-emotional impact on all students involved. It would provide opportunities for independence and relationship building that isn't currently possible. The device has been donated to the students, so now we need professional development for best practices in using the device for maximum effectiveness.
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