A STATE-OF-THE-ART eye scanner has been installed at Shinewater Court to help severely physically impaired people to communicate.
The Tobii eye scanner, which works through infrared technology, is connected to a PC and installed to read the eye movements of the individual.
The scanner, which was set up by RSL Steeper, gives service users the chance to write, draw, use the internet and play games on the PC without the need to use their hands or switches.
A spokesperson described it as ‘life-changing technology’.
Each service user at Shinewater Court, which is part of The Disabilities Trust, has their eyes collaborated with the scanner, which takes a few minutes.
Eye movements are then assessed by the machine, measuring how long each individual is able to concentrate on particular points on the screen and if the eye tends to look more at one side of the screen than the other.
A timer can then be set, which will decide how long each individual needs to concentrate on an icon before that icon is selected.
The scanner costs £5,500 but it will have a huge impact on the quality of life for each service user, making it easier for them to stay in touch with friends and family online.
Mark Hodgins, who lives at Shinewater Court, said, “I had previously been using the switches to work the computer but it was slow, the eye tracker will make things much quicker.
“I enjoy using facebook and Google and I’m working with a tutor to find out what else we can do.
“Hopefully we will get wi-fi soon so that everybody will have better access to the new technology.”
For further information about the work at Shinewater Court visit www.thedtgroup.org