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ERIC Number: EJ948323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Their Best Voice Is Heard when Their Eyes Do the Talking
Murphy, Patti
Exceptional Parent, v41 n7 p23-24 Jul 2011
The author shares the story of Megan Fry of The Woodlands, Texas, a pioneer among young artists with disabilities. Megan wanted to enter the Montgomery County Beatification Association's (MCBA) 2010 Arbor Day poster contest, but the rules prohibited computer-based art. That posed a dilemma because cerebral palsy prevents Megan from speaking and using her hands. Her augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device is also her means of accessing a computer for painting. As typical peers in her fifth grade science class at Mitchell Intermediate School prepared handmade contest entries, Megan decided to participate in her own way. She created a poster using painting software, controlling the computer mouse--and the flow of her project--through her eye movements, tracked by a camera on the AAC device. Megan inspired the creation of a new category allowing students with disabilities to submit computer-based artwork in future contests. Widely associated with individuals who cannot walk, eyegaze is often a recommended AAC access method for non-verbal adults in later stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) whose mobility has diminished. Conversely, it yields communication success for girls with Rett's syndrome and children with Angelman's syndrome who are ambulatory and may be challenged by abnormal arm or hand movement, ruling out touch access. Effectiveness is related to calibrating the device to the movement of one's eyes and ability to move them in isolation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas