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EyeGaze: The Newest Addition to the Classroom Access Toolkit

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Eye gaze access has traditionally been used on dedicated AAC devices by individuals who experience significant physical disability. While this is still a more efficient access method than use of switches and scanning for expressive communication, the recent decreases in cost and increases in ease of setup for this technology have resulted in it being used in a much more universal way.
This session will outline the recent use of eye gaze to support multiple students in special education classrooms, demonstrating a number of examples. Assessment of student needs, classroom goals, and environmental considerations will be discussed. Current product development which allows students opportunities to develop skill with this access method and is allowing for increased participation in whole class, small group and individual instruction will be demonstrated. Providing direct access is more efficient than scanning and builds on eye pointing skills already developed by many students who use AAC. Eye gaze analysis software is providing teachers with diagnostic information about the vision behavior of students, which informs their ability to support development of eye gaze skill and provides valuable information about appropriate positioning and design of materials both digital and low tech, which has the potential to change teaching and learning.
Throughout the presentation, participants will be invited through facilitated discussion to share their use of eye gaze technology with this population and will be encouraged to identify barriers that should be addressed in ongoing development of this technology, building a map of current practice and desired future directions.

Author(s):

Susie Blackstien-Adler    
Bridges
Canada

Iain Wallace    
Bridges
Canada

 

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