Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Low Tech Eye Gaze (and Mounting)
The statistics on this page tell me that quite a few people (in the midwest and Israel) need some resources on low tech Eye Gaze communication systems. In the old days the easiest solution was the Opticommunicator by Crestwood but Crestwood is going out of business and almost nothing remains in their inventory.
Enabling Devices sells an eye gaze board they can an "Eye Talk" with either a base or a "clip clamp" to hold it in place. The base tends not to be high enough for those in wheelchairs and the "clip clamp" needs to hold the gaze board from the top to work well and thus gets in the way of the funtioning of the eye gaze board. Two "clip clamps", one on each side, works much better, if you can afford it. (Enabling Devices also offers a 3-D system with shelves for objects.)
Object Symbol Resources also sells an eye gaze board, but they do not sell any kind of mount for it. However, you could, again use any gooseneck or similar system with a clamp on each end attacked to both sides of the eye gaze board to attach to a wheelchair tray, arm rests, table or bed rail.
Zygo offers a pretty great system, however their USA/Canada website is nearly impossible to navigate. TECSOL in Australia shows the set up nicely. You might want to just call them if you are really interested in purchasing in the USA/Canada.
If the individual you are working with is capable of encoding using a color coded system and spelling out messages using his or her eyes, you should google "Frenchay Etran" or "ETRAN".
If you want to get high tech about the whole thing, without going for an eye tracker like the one on the Dynavox with EyeMax below you can check out the MegaBee.
(After you check it out the MegaBee consider this ancedote: my sister (may she rest in peace), following a brain injury at age 21, was non-speaking for some time. Although she did not spell with eye gaze, she did spell on a static display communication board by pointing with a pointer. Her older sister (yours truly) happens to have dysphonetic dyslexia and often could not decipher words spelled out letter by letter on a board. So, in a manner that sisters often tease each other, she would spell cixelsyd. Nice, huh? I never did figure out what that spelled. She told me years later. It was a case of needing assistive technology to cope with assistive technology.)