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Intellect

McKay School of Education to receive Eagle Eyes computer device for disabled

Ceremony July 18 will include demonstration of the device

Brigham Young University’s David O. McKay School of Education has been selected as the second university to receive an assistive technology device, EagleEyes, from the Opportunity Foundation of America.

EagleEyes is an innovative mouse substitute that provides computer-based communication and instruction for individuals with severe disabilities. It also provides computer access for individuals with limited motor and verbal abilities. The user only needs to look at the screen to activate the mouse.

While there are other head-trackers, EagleEyes is the only eye-tracker for computers. The device, manufactured in Salt Lake City, is valued at $1,200.

A formal presentation of the gift will occur Tuesday, July 18, at 3 p.m. in the Teaching and Learning Support Center on the BYU Campus. Boston College’s EagleEyes project director Maureen Gates will attend the ceremony and provide a demonstration of the device.

Opportunity Foundation of America founder and executive director Debbie Inkley describes the technology as “priceless” to the life of a person who is severely disabled. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 people within the United States are candidates for EagleEyes. Candidates include not only those born with severe disabilities, but near-drowning and stroke victims.

The McKay School will use EagleEyes to train special education teacher candidates in the use of this form of assistive technology. Education faculty will use the device to also teach general education teacher candidates who may have disabled students in their classes.

BYU students needing the services of EagleEyes would also be able to use the device.

Tina Dyches, an associate professor in Special Education will use EagleEyes in her augmentative alternative education classes.

The McKay School was selected for the gift because of its Public School Partnership, specifically with Nebo School District and Oakridge School, where students are already receiving instruction using EagleEyes.

For more information, contact Tina Dyches at (801) 422-5045, Oakridge Principal Richard Kay at (801) 491-2165 or Debbie Inkley at (801) 231-6691.

Writer: Roxanna Johnson

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