by Sandy Masayko
The AT Department at Easterseals is involved in action research in the field of eye gaze technology for young children. In November, the Easterseals AT Department hosted Dr. Maria Borgestig from Linkoping University in Sweden and Dr. Namrata Grampurohit of Thomas Jefferson University to develop our collaboration on research into eye gaze technology for young children. Dr. Borgestig guided the Easterseals AT Team in the implementation of several standardized measurements, and we shared the results of our own Easterseals eye gaze study, which is now in its third year. Dr. Grampurohit is collaborating with us in obtaining IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval for our study through Jefferson and our collaboration with the Swedish study. Currently, three children are enrolled in the Swedish study and seven children are enrolled in the Easterseals study. This is unfunded research which we are completing to help us make the best decisions possible about our children.
From left: Joy McGowan, Director of Augmentative Communication; Dr. Maria Borgestig of Linkoping University, Sweden; Sandy Masayko, Director of AT; Laurie G. McGowan, AT Specialist
by Sandy Masayko
Nine Senior Engineering students from the Science Leadership Academy, a Philadelphia public magnet high school, and their teacher, John Kamal, visited Easter Seals at the end of October. Prior to their visit the students interviewed Sandy Masayko using FaceTime to learn about projects that required engineering solutions. Learning that the students at Easter Seals need to have toys adapted to meet their special needs, the students selected Easter Seals as a site for their engineering and design project. After an introduction to concepts of Assistive Technology, the student engineers toured the school and observed children and teachers in action. The students have now begun their project by taking apart and repairing switch operated and adapted toys back at their lab at the Science Leadership Academy.
Laurie McGowan, Assistive Technology Specialist, demonstrates to students how eye gaze technology works.