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New project explores how eye gaze technology can support students to engage in learning

26 March 2019

female child in wheelchair with head support and OT standing beside her looking at a mounted computer screen
Following a pilot project in 2018 to increase schools’ awareness about and access to eye gaze technology for recreation, communication and learning, the ILC is undertaking a new project titled Eye Gaze: Access All Learning Areas.

Thanks to a grant from Non-Government Centre Support (NGCS), ILC speech pathologists and occupational therapists will work within schools to further explore how eye gaze technology can be used to support students’ engagement and achievement across a range of learning areas.

Within the classroom, eye gaze technology has the potential to increase students’ participation in classroom activities, with examples including turning the pages and engaging with books, participating in literacy and numeracy lessons, creating art and music as well as giving access to vocabulary for communication.

young male in a red t-shirt sitting with an OT  looking at AAC with mounted computer screen to the side
Eye gaze technology can also assist teachers to assess students’ knowledge and understanding when other methods such as writing, pointing or speaking an answer are difficult.

ILC Speech Pathologist Emma McKinley said schools involved in the project will receive support and access to eye gaze accessible software and technology to enable students to participate in areas of the WA curriculum.

The project will be rolled out in two phases and will be wrapping up in September.

As part of phase one of the project, currently being undertaken at two schools in metropolitan Perth, ILC speech pathologists and occupational therapists are providing onsite training, set-up and support to use relevant eye gaze technology with identified students.

“Our team has been busy preparing new eye gaze technology that will be used in the project and we’re really excited to start working closely with the schools’ staff and students to help them to AACess All Learning Areas,” said Emma.

“We will also be looking to develop resources for personalised activities to meet identified learning areas.”

As part of phase 2 of the project ILC will offer a range of consultation packages and training to additional schools. These consultation packages will include sharing of knowledge and resources developed throughout phase one of the project.

Further information and applications for phase 2 of the project will be distributed within term 2 2019.