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Choosing

I can dwell my gaze to select specific on-screen content

Learning

At the choosing step we are learning that on-screen choices lead to real-life actions. For example, informing of hunger, enjoyment or tiredness by choosing the appropriate core-vocabulary on the screen. We do this by practicing the skill of dwelling our gaze over a specific point of the screen to make a selection.

When we know how to choose we can begin to explore other forms of learning activities

 

Communication

Communication is based around real-life choices made by the learner. The choices made within a visual scene, communication grid or game lead to full two-way communication, where the communication partner responds appropriately to the choices made by assisting with the action or request said by the learner.  

 

Calibration

For this step the learner needs as good a calibration as possible with as many calibration points as they can manage. Click here for more information about calibration.

 

Give it a Try

Practice 1: It's a Match

Objectives

  • We are learning to actively target gaze on specific areas of the screen
  • We are learning to make choices by dwelling our gaze

 

Get Ready

To get up and running with this activity you will need: 

 

Let’s Go!

Following these steps makes it simpler to get going with the activity. 

  1. Connect your eye tracker/ start your device
  2. Open Gaze Point software, start it with the play button and make sure the mouse click is turned on
  3. Click here to play “Memory Game”
  4. Turn up the volume!
  5. Choose between the easy, medium or hard level
  6. In order to turn over a card the learner must dwell over the card to choose it
  7. The learner can turn over the cards individually by dwelling their gaze over each card
  8. Work together with the learner to remember the images under each card!

 

Say

Use phrases such as these to promote communication! 

  • “You found the bike! I remember that the other bike was in the top row.”
  • “I saw that chose to turn over that card by focusing your gaze on it. It turned over when you chose it with your eyes!”

 

Top Tips

Looking for extra help with the activity?

  • If you feel that accuracy is a little off, why not try calibrating your device?
  • Is the dwell time too slow or too fast? You can change the dwell time in settings.
  • Assist the learner by repeating the items you have seen previously and their on-screen positons.
  • Describe what the learner has managed to do when they turn over a card by dwelling.

 

Look For

A trophy appears when the game has been completed. Seeing a trophy on-screen indicates success! The user has shown the ability to target their gaze on a variety of different on-screen objects. 

 

Go Beyond Examples

Here are some extra ways to practice the skills connected with this step. 

Practice 2: Communicate by Choosing 

Objectives

  • We are learning to select core vocabulary using grids and symbols to communicate feelings and needs
  • We are learning new vocabulary that is connected to various grids

 

Get Ready

To get up and running with this activity you will need: 

 

Let’s Go!

Following these steps makes it simpler to get going with the activity. 

  1. Connect your eye tracker/ start your device
  2. Open Gaze Point software, start it with the play button and make sure the mouse click is turned on
  3. Open Sono Flex
  4. Turn up the volume!
  5. Model the steps needed to select a context.
    • Through modeling, the communication partner can assist the user to select a context, which are shown on the right hand side. A good place to start could be one of the meal-time contexts, though additional contexts can be chosen by selecting “more contexts” from the top right corner. For example, the communication partner can model by saying, “It is almost time for lunch and I am hungry. I would like to talk about lunch. Breakfast, dinner, lunch!” while pointing at breakfast, dinner then lunch while saying the words
  6. Model the steps needed to select an item from within the context.
    • The word types within each context are colour classified with the Fitzgerald Key. Using these different colours to model good practice is a great way to assist the user become familiar with the words and categories within the context. For example, the care-giver can model by saying, “I want to say ‘pizza. I know that ‘pizza’ is a noun. Those are orange. Let’s look through the orange ones. Cucumber, fruit, pizza!” while pointing at cucumber, fruit then pizza while saying the words
  7. Now the learner can try selecting content themselves. Remember to comment on everything the user says!
  8. Here we can really emphasize the notion that the choices made with gazing at the on-screen context results in real-life actions

 

Say

Use phrases such as these to promote communication!

  • “You focused your gaze on the word 'thirsty'. Your favourite drink is on the table. Let’s have something to drink!”

 

Top Tips

Looking for extra help with the activity? 

  • If you feel that accuracy is a little off, why not try calibrating your device?
  • Is the dwell time too slow or too fast? You can change the dwell time in settings.
  • Make sure to repeat all words that the learner selects.
  • Look at the items under the “things” section. Gather some of the real-life versions of the items in this section close by so that they can be reached easily to emphasize that when something is selected on-screen it promotes a real action!

 

Look For

The learner can show success by selecting parts of the grid that are relevant to a particular activity or mealtime that you are both currently engaged in.

 

Practice 3: Keyboard Communication

Communicator 5 is available for free for 30 days. Click here to try it out!

Objective

  • We are learning to communicate by selecting letters on a keyboard using eye gaze

 

Get Ready

To get up and running with this activity you will need:

 

Let’s Go!

Following these steps makes it simpler to get going with the activity. 

  1. Connect your eye tracker/ start your device
  2. Open Gaze Point software and make sure the mouse click is turned on
  3. Open Communicator 5
  4. Select “all page sets” and add one of the “eye control” keyboards to the homepage
  5. Encourage the learner to gaze over the screen and select letters. The communication partner can use phrases such as “you selected the letter ‘M’ from the keyboard. When you press the ‘speak’ button I can hear the letter ‘M’. Think of this as an exploration of the keyboard. This should be thought of as “no-fail” and everything the learner says should be given a response.
  6. After this, we can now practice saying words using the same keyboard. A good way to start with this is to model words that you know the learner is familiar with and has used before, for example from communication grids in Sono Primo or Sono Flex. We can use vocabulary such as, “I have seen you select the word ‘pizza’ before. ‘Pizza’ begins with a ‘P’. I wonder if you can select the letter ‘P’? The communication partner can then guide the learner through the rest of the word in the same way.
  7. We can then encourage the learner to build on these skills by constructing sentences!

 

Say

Use phrases such as these to promote communication!

  • “You are spelling out what you want to say. I can see the word ‘pizza’ has been suggested. I wonder if you would like some pizza? I know that I would!”

 

Top Tips

Looking for extra help with the activity?

  • If you feel that accuracy is a little off, why not try calibrating your device?
  • Is the dwell time too slow or too fast? You can change the dwell time in settings.
  • Look at the word suggestion list at the top of the screen while the learner is spelling the word. The word will often appear here after only a few letters have been chosen.
  • The use of a “dwell-free” keyboard removes the need for dwelling over keys to select and, with practice, makes communication faster. Why not add it to the Communicator homepage and give it a try!?

 

Look For

A sure sign of success here is hearing the words aloud that the learner has typed with their eyes. If it is sentences that you can hear, even better! 

 

Practice 4: Beam Messaging

Objective

  • We are learning to communicate via distance communication methods by send text messages through Communicator 5.3

 

Get Ready

To get up and running with this activity you will need: 

 

Let’s Go!

  1. Watch the video above to set up Beam Messaging
  2. Connect your eye tracker/ start your device
  3. Now that Beam Messaging is set up, the learner can open “text messaging” from the Communicator 5.3 homepage
  4. The learner can select “new message” and begin to type to using the keyboard!
  5. Encourage the learner to send a new message to someone in the same room
  6. When the recipient receives the message, they can show it to the learner to demonstrate how the process works from the receiver’s side
  7. The receiver can then reply, of course!

 

Say

Use phrases such as these to promote communication! 

  • "I can see that you can send and receive text messages from Communicator 5. 3. I would like to communicate through text messaging. I will send you a message now!"

 

Top Tips

  • If you feel that accuracy is a little off, why not try calibrating your device?
  • Is the dwell time too slow or too fast? You can change the dwell time in settings.
  • The learner can receive text messages though Communicator 5.3, too. Why not try sending a text message to their number and encourage the learner to reply!
  • Give the learner a task to do within Communicator 5.3… and let them know about it via text message! Text them a task such as, “I wonder if you can add the ‘dwell-free’ keyboard to the Communicator homepage? The first step is by selecting ‘all page sets’.”

 

Look For

A conversation that is underway via text message is a strong indication of success.

 

Keep Growing

 

Words to Remember

Calibration

In order for eye tracking to work as accurately as possible, the eye tracker must know more about your eyes. This is why you need to do a calibration. During the calibration the eye tracker measures how your eyes reflect light. The calibration is done by following a point, video or other graphic element that moves across the screen. This calibration data is then combined with our unique 3D model of a human eye, and together they give you an optimal eye tracking experience.

The learner can calibrate within the settings of Gaze Point. 

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Fitzgerald Key

The Fitzgerald Key is the traditional approach presenting Core words grouped together on the page by parts of speech. With this approach, you can start small and grow big (have a smaller grid full of words and increase the size to add more words, start big and fill in (have a larger grid with a few words and gradually show more words without adding buttons), or start with a full grid of words (select the grid size appropriate for the user and show all the words in it from the start).

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Modeling

Modeling is when the communication partner talks to the learner while also pointing/ selecting keywords on the learner's AAC device. This helps develop the learner's understanding of both language and symbols.

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Dwelling

Dwelling is the skill of focusing your gaze over a specific point of the screen for a prolonged period of time. Doing this allows us to actively make choices using our gaze.

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