Early this month in the UK, Madeline Love had the opportunity to see her 3-year-old daughter, who has Cerebral Palsy, express herself through art thanks to innovative eye tracking technology called Eyegaze.
Berry Love-Jones endured major breathing problems following her birth at Merthyr’s Prince Charles Hospital in February 2011 and was eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. She has limited muscle tone, is unable to sit up unaided, and is non-verbal.
This month, however, Berry is finding her creative voice thanks to an eye-operated communication and control system called Eyegaze by LC Technologies.
Eyegaze’s computer setup has a specialized video camera mounted below the screen that tracks eye movement without any attachment to the head or body. Its sophisticated image processing software converts the eye’s focus to a cursor on the screen. Berry can select colors, draw limitlessly, and print out her artwork to the delight of her proud parents. See Berry’s artwork at Wales Online.
Self-expression is vital parts of our human existence. A spokeswoman at Bobath Children’s Therapy Center, where Berry was one of the first to use Eyegaze, describes, “These children may have lots they want to say but lack the ability to speak or use reliable hand movements to communicate via a switch or touch screen.”
Madeline said it was an emotional moment for her to see Berry’s first creation.
“I have always had to help her communicate with the world,” she said. “And watching how quickly she picked up using the equipment – and to witness the joy it gave her – made me very proud as her mother.”
Berry’s mother also reported that this outlet for creative freedom has increased her daughter’s confidence. The hope is that in the future, Berry will be able to use this technology to browse the internet and communicate with family.
“Her choice-making is more definite and her concentration has improved. It is a fantastic piece of technology to help aid children who are not able to verbally or physically say what they want.”
Eyegaze Edge Systems are being used worldwide to write books, attend school, and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities. Watch the video below of a user communicating with Eyegaze:
Adaptive arts and art therapy provide self-expression, development, and healing for children with Cerebral Palsy. Learn more about the benefits or give our compassionate call center representatives a call. Contact the MyChild™ Call Center.