Eye Gaze System helps children with severe disabilities

| April 29, 2019

Brooke Wilson is pictured playing a game using the Eye Gaze Communication System that was recently purchased for Hopewell School with the help of a grant from the Coshocton Foundation. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Children at Hopewell School with severe disabilities have been given a new way to communicate with others thanks in part to a grant from the Coshocton Foundation.

The school now has an Eye Gaze Communication System. The equipment is connected to a computer screen and has programs that teach students to use their eyes to complete activities.

“They are able to actively make choices and this is helping give them independence,” said Renee Stein, speech language pathologist.

The system is set up on a cart that can be moved to different rooms in the school.

“Three classrooms are sharing it and it is being used by 3-year-olds to teenagers,” Stein said.

Tiffany Wehr, an intervention specialist in the transition classroom, has already seen the system make an impact on students.

“Kids who never had much interaction are now able to do activities and track objects,” she said. “One laughs while doing the programs and one holds their head up more. We’d read stories to them and wonder if they were getting anything out of them, but with this we are able to do a lesson and know that they are making a choice.”

The system has only been used for about a month and the change in students is impressive.

“It’s huge for these kids,” Stein said. “They haven’t been able to do anything independently without us helping them. A lot of these kids are movers too, but with this they are able to calm their body and focus on the screen.”

The Coshocton Foundation provided $4,000 for the system and the Coshocton County Board of DD provided $1,080.

“We have to give them a huge thank you,” Stein said. “Because of them these children are able to do something independently.”



Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.