The Children’s Ark  through a very kind donor and LC Technologies recently completed a unique project i.e Advanced EyeGaze Technology for children between the ages of 4 – 19, inclusive of two adults.

The EyeGaze system is an eye-operated computer-like device that allows a challenged person who has little or no use of their hands or no speech, to type with their eyes, like a password, by a 15 second calibration with one of their eyes.     

Each AET Device costs in the vicinity of  US $ 12,000.00 – US $15,000.00.   This was sponsored by the Donor, through The Children’s Ark

Requirements for use are: the ability to remain still, good control of at least one eye, and

a sufficient cognitive level of control in order to use the system and make selections. Typical users of the AET are persons with ALS/MND, muscular dystrophy, brain/spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, quadraplegics and some cerebral palsy cases.

The AET system empowers people with disabilities to interact and communicate with the world, either by generating speech though typing or selecting varied programmes with their eyes, opening up a new and exciting world for the disabled.

The renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking who was diagnosed at age 21 with ALS/MND was one of the first users of the AET Device. He has since earned twelve degrees, is a professor at Cambridge University and has written over 105 books by using a similar sophisticated system.

The Children’s Ark worked this project extensively since July and through various Institutions, Doctors, Specialists and others,, in search for 12 candidates.   

TCA coordinated the details and arrangements for the assessments and soon thereafter technicians from LC Technology in Virginia were brought to T& T by the donor.

James and Dixon arrived in mid July and 32 candidates were assessed at the following locations, over a four day timeframe.

  1. The Scarborough Hospital in Tobago
  2. The Princess Elizabeth Home in POS
  3. The National Centre for Persons with Disabilities ( NCPD )
  4. Two individual assessments ( one in Tobago and POS )

It was quite an exciting week, sadly only four qualified for the AET Device but everyone enjoyed the challenge and the experience.

In mid October a special three day training session was conducted with James Brinton from LC Technonogies and those attending were two of the candidates, two speech therapists, Natalie Bryan and Sirlon George,, Candace John and Kyle Young Lai from NCPD,, Kerwin  and Carolyn Hart and Simone de la Bastide from The Children’s Ark.

Three Devices were given to individuals and one went to the NCPD, where several individuals who attend classes at NCPD will have an opportunity to learn how to use the AET Device.

An official  ‘Hand- Over ‘ was held at the National Center for Persons with Disabilities on October 25th

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