Penn Hall was one of the first schools in the country to embrace Eye Gaze technology to enable its pupils to access the curriculum. From the purchase of a portable My Tobii in 2007 for the princely sum of £16,000 we have seen a dramatic fall in price in recent years to make this technology much more affordable for our students. Currently we have 10 devices in use every day across the school supporting pupils in EYFS with simple cause and effect work right through to Post 16 students using it to compete GCSE’s. Driven by our outstanding Speech and Language therapy team along with the school’s Access and Development officer we are now at the cutting edge of this technology and regularly receive visits from other schools to see examples of best practice.
The assessor from our recent NAACE Award stated
“The school has ensured that students can access ICT systems and devices which have a significant impact on their educational development; a particular example of this is the way in which Eyegaze technology is becoming an increasingly used throughout the school with a range of learners. This technology allows individual students to access the curriculum to such an extent that students are undertaking accredited courses which are comparable to those of their mainstream peers. The school has recently provided Eyegaze technology to very young learners and the impact of such an early introduction will reap rewards in the future.”
What is Eye Gaze?
Eye gaze systems allow you to navigate and control the computer by using a camera to track where you are looking. We offer a variety of eye gaze software and equipment to help every individual find the most effective solution.
Who benefits from this support?
- are unable to use direct access to control a computer or communication technology effectively with hand/finger
- have difficulty with accessing communication technology and require additional switching/access devices to maximise their opportunity to communicate, recordor access curriculum opportunitie
What does eye gaze technology do?
- Provide opportunities to use speech output to contribute to class discussions or express opinions etc.
- Control the environment e.g. switching lights or music
- Provides access to control the computer e.g. to type access or the internet
- Provide opportunities to increase independence to control remote communication e.g. skype, text messaging, emails
How do we use the technology with individual children?
Perhaps the best recent example of the difference this makes is one of our senior students using his eye gaze device to communicate in a bank to open an account. Using technology to enhance the lives of our children will continue to be priority at Penn Hall.