Interactive Learning Activities for Teaching the Use of Eye Tracking Technology
AAC comes in many different shapes and sizes! There are two general categories of AAC: light-tech and high-tech.
Low-tech/light-tech options include communication boards, pictures, tangible objects, visual schedules, and writing
High-tech options include speech-generating devices (SGDs)
A child's access to AAC is dependent on an their fine motor, gross motor, visual motor, and cognitive abilities.
One form of alternate access is the use of eye gaze technologies
Eye trackers enable users to access their speech-generating device through their eyes
For children with complex motor needs, the use of eye tracking technology can provide them with access to communication. Incorporating Interactive Learning Activities can engage and motivate kids when they are learning how to use eye tracking for access to a speech-generating device.
These activities teach the skills needed for using eye gaze through engagement and fun!
Through the Forbes AAC WinSlate for Kids with Enable Eyes there are many different Interactive Learning Activities available!
Focusing Eyes on a Stationary Object:
AAC users: In this group of activities, there are games in which the focus is for the AAC user to sustain their eyes on an object visible in the background teaching them how to discern a single item and affect that item by looking at it. Through this, they are able to learn that their eyes are able to effect an object - the early understanding of cause and effect!
Clinicians: This provides clinicians the opportunity to obtain objective data related to screen engagement, a user's ability to target a static object, a user's ability to follow the clinician's directions, and the user's level of enjoyment.
Focusing Eyes on a Moving Object:
AAC users: This group of activities is similar to the group above, however these items are moving! This allows the user to learn to engage the whole screen.
Clinicians: Information can be obtained relative the the user's ability to access different areas of the screen as well as objective data related to a user's ability to understand cause/effect. There are also options for the clinician to change the number of objects visible on the screen as well as the movement speed of the object.
AAC users: This group of activities aims to teach a child how to hold their eye gaze on an object for an extended period of time. In these activities, the user is able to learn how to concentrate on an object for a certain amount of time to effect the object.
Clinicians: Through these activities provides information related to setting an appropriate dwell time on their SGD.
Following an Object:
AAC users: In these activities, the AAC user controls an object through their eyes. This helps the child improve their accuracy of eye gaze access.
Clinicians: This provides the information about the user's ability to maintain gaze to select an item, track an item, maintain screen engagement, and respond appropriately to instructions.
Want to trial these interactive games? Learn more about the WinSlate for Kids with Enable Eyes from Forbes AAC - this was created just for kids!
Its powerful hardware and software platforms allow users to explore and have fun while learning eye tracking
With everything the WinSlate for Kids with Enable Eyes offers, it engages users’ interests with interactive activities that are fun and exciting for any age!
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.). Augmentative and Alternative Communication (Practice Portal). www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional-Issues/Augmentative-and-Alternative-Communication/
Beukelman, D. R., & Light, J. C. (2020). Augmentative & alternative communication: Supporting children and adults with complex communication needs (5th ed.). Brookes.
Katie Threlkeld, M.S., CCC-SLP is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Missouri and the Educational Program Developer at Forbes AAC. She has over 8 years of experience in AT and AAC assessment and treatment across the lifespan. Her goal is to provide all AAC users and those around them with evidence-based information for best practice in AAC.