Blink-of-an-eye technology unveiled at school

PUBLISHED: 10:24 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 May 2010

VISITORS to Meldreth Manor School got an eyeful when they were given a demonstration of revolutionary new machines activated by blinking. Pupils with communication impairments are now able to express their needs and wishes thanks to the DynaVox EyeMax dev

VISITORS to Meldreth Manor School got an eyeful when they were given a demonstration of revolutionary new machines activated by blinking.

Pupils with communication impairments are now able to express their needs and wishes thanks to the DynaVox EyeMax devices, which are controlled using eye movements.

A group of pupils and students from the school, run by disability charity Scope, gave a demonstration of the astounding technology at an open day held last week.

Roger Gale, Meldreth Manor School's principal, said: "This technology has been life-changing for many of our pupils and students and we wanted to share it on a wider basis with other people who could also benefit.

"Imagine if you were only able to communicate with your eye movements. Those around you could need to take some time to get to know what you are trying to say - whether you feel cold or too hot, or want a drink or are trying to tell them where you want to go."

The screen-based devices can be mounted on a desk, table top or wheelchair. Users can look at different options on the screen to communicate what they want to say or do - whether asking for a drink, to watch their favourite TV programme or express whether they are happy or sad.

Users can also send text messages, or access the internet, using the machines.

Mr Gale added: "The device enables the children and young people we work with to communicate much more easily and quickly. These devices have given them more choice and control in their lives and increased their independence. We wanted to share that with other people in the area.

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