2011 is The National Year of Communication which highlights the importance of good communication skills for children and young people. Some of those children need help from technology if they are to have a voice.
Last week, I was invited by Northgate Managed Services to an event called “Engage, Evolve, Excel”. It had Professor Stephen Heppell as the keynote speaker and was an ICT showcase for the great work done in Leicester schools.
There I met Teresa, a year 11 pupil from Ash Field, a day and weekly boarding special school. She demonstrated a Tobii Eye Gaze system that lets users with severe physical disabilities control their computer just by using their eye movements.
Her school had bought the system but the camera was provided by Leicester Lions Speedway. Teresa uses Eye Gaze to access her communication device which enables her to speak. The school invited some Leicester Lions into assembly and Teresa used her Eye Gaze to deliver her presentation thanking them for their fundraising efforts.
What a difference a bit of kit can make!