Today was the first day of a 4 week trial rental of a Tobii P10 eye gaze communication device for a student in my class. This has been a long time in coming for this student. There have been many sessions with every maker of every brand of eye gaze AAC device on the marker. There has been some pretty intensive low tech intervention around eye gaze along with ongoing discussions, data collection and educational planning. There were web based trainings, practice with the evaluations software and two face-to-face introductory trainings with our local Tobii rep Chris (who is spectacular). Time was spent showing the student the software and pre-training on the symbol set and the different lay-outs.
All of it lead up to today. The Tobii came off the bus after a weekend at home and I was accused of looking like a roadie rolling it inside. The case is nothing to be scoffed at, the P10 is a ginormous device when you include the device, keyboard, mouse and mount, not to mention the battery. Shortly after, perhaps immediately after the tiral rental my student will purchase the light and portable Tobii C-eye, but perhaps due to its onerous size the P10 has a shorter waiting list to rent. Our SLP and I had discussed the best plan for laying out a starter board set for our student and I had received it that morning so I pop-ed in the flashdrive and installed it into the P10. It was a breeze to get it up and running. We had one stumbling block, somehow a setting had been changed in the input menu, but we quickly changed it back and we were off and running.
The new user was in front of the P10 for four hours today, with some 75+ activations. Many of those were just explorations. However most questions were answered appropriately (i.e. "Do you want to taste some cheesecake?" P10 "Yummy!") and many comments were witty and said with a grin.
It is possible that the most exciting moment for the student was when I programmed a page on the fly. A life time of Step-by-Step Switches and static eyegaze boards and it was pretty exciting to get a synthesized speech, dynamic display board in under 5 minutes! (The Tobii Communicator Software is a breeze!)
Stay tuned for more on our adventures with the Tobii P10.