Melissa Corcos is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Hi-Ability Therapy Services. She explains the use of eye gaze as a form of communication and how it's used in speech therapy.
The term “eye gaze” can be described as a form of communication where an individual uses their eyes to communicate. It can be as simple as looking at a desired object or as complex as using an assistive technology device that is calibrated to an individual’s eyes. This can allow them to control the device to produce a voice to make requests or comments.
This advanced technology can be life changing for individuals who are nonverbal. More specifically, this is substantial for people with severe physical disabilities who are unable to control a computer through more conventional means, such as a mouse or keyboard, or those who are unable to use other methods which require access through touch, like a switch or touchscreen. This technology gives these individuals a voice!
In the above photo you can see Grayson using eye gaze technology during a speech therapy session he receives at Ann Storck Center's Early Intervention Preschool. The eye gaze device is positioned below his tablet, and it enables him to use his eyes to control the tablet. Grayson plays games on his tablet during therapy and uses the tablet to request other activities like puzzles and play-dough, all using eye gaze.
Everyone has a voice and should be given the opportunity to share it. Eye gaze is just one way I help children find their voice.
More questions for the Hi-Ability therapists? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.