Eyegaze technology enables students with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and severe learning disabilities (SLD) interact meaningfully with their environment. The students are generally working on a pre-communicative level and so are not (yet) at the level of using the EyeGaze as an AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communcation) or as part of formal speech and language therapy. However there is a clear progression pathway to move from a sensory level to a communication level. It works by tracking where the students’ eyes are looking. At the early stages, it involves eye tracking and moves onto the students controlling their environment using their eyes.
Now that more software companies are making applications for the early stages of the learning curve (sensory, early eye tracking, exploration), the technology opens up a world of possibilities for students with PMLD and SLD. It also allows staff to have the tools at their disposal to accurately assess students’ understanding of a task, by using eye tracking, which allows you to see what the student is looking at and test their understanding. By using games and applications with a visible cursor, or those that leave a visual cue as to where the student is looking, we can see if he is responding and reacting appropriately.
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