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2013 News Letter

Posted by Debbie Inkley on January 22, 2013

Team of Advocates for Special Kids Technology E-Newsletter

Posted by Debbie Inkley on December 11, 2012

EagleEyes was mentioned in the Team of Advocates for Special Kids Technology E-Newsletter.

In this edition, I want to start by telling you about a wonderful piece of assistive technology that I have recently had the pleasure of trying out with an awesome kiddo and friend of TASK. The technology is called EagleEyes. Read on for more information:


The Opportunity Foundation of America EagleEyes Project
Developed by Professor James Gips, the purpose of the EagleEyes Project is to help people with severe disabilities develop and be educated to their fullest by enabling them to access the computer. The EagleEyes project works with people, mainly children and young adults, who cannot speak and can move only their eyes or head. EagleEyes allows people to control the computer by moving only their eyes. EagleEyes works through five electrodes placed on the person's head.
EagleEyes is for children and adults who are most often nonverbal, paralyzed and have at most a "yes/no" method of communicating or are completely locked in. Some of the diagnoses that fall into this category are stroke, traumatic brain injury, Rett syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy, severe cerebral palsy and neurological disorders.
Note from Laura: Ron Williams, the EagleEyes Project's Director of Training and Education, flew out from Utah to train a family that TASK has worked with for many years. The Algario family and Ron Williams graciously allowed me to attend the training sessions for their son Caysen. Please go to the video link that Deborah Algario made of Caysen using his new device. I am hoping that we will be able to obtain funding soon to purchase a device for our TASK families to use in the TECH Center. I am looking forward to working with the Opportunity Foundation and EagleEyes.

Laura Simmons-Martinez

Technology Project Director

Team of Advocates for Special Kids

Learn more about Task at http://taskca.org/abouttask.html

Disabled Kincardine teen receives first EagleEyes system in Canada

Posted by Debbie Inkley on December 11, 2012

Keith Creighton (R) of Kincardine gets some help from his sister, Katie, in using the EagleEyes system at Kincardine District Secondary School Tuesday afternoon

Celebrating the arrival of the EagleEyes system for Keith Creighton (R) of Kincardine, are classroom teacher Sandy MacLeod (L), resource teacher Joan Mowle, Keith's mom Lynne Creighton, educational assistant Karen Cassista, trainer Ron Williams, and Linda Marak of Community Living

EagleEyes on CBC Radio Canada

Posted by Debbie Inkley on December 11, 2012

Click Here to listen to the interview.

EagleEyes in Canada

Posted by Debbie Inkley on December 7, 2012

This story was featured on CTV London News Website.

Kincardine teen receives new technology to communicate

Posted by Debbie Inkley on December 6, 2012

Mike Hackett (L) of MTC Computers, Erin McDonald of Meridian Credit Union, and Linda Marak of Community Living of Kincardine and District, pose with Keith Creighton of Kincardine who will receive a new computer system to help him communicate
photo and article courtesy of Linda Marak

Christmas has come early to a young man in the Kincardine community.

Keith Creighton, 18, who has recently moved with his family to Kincardine from Tiverton, has just received confirmation that he will be receiving an EagleEyes System from The Opportunity Foundation of America.

This non-profit foundation’s vision is “to improve the quality of life for children and adults with severe physical disabilities, and their families, through recreation, communication and education.”

Keith, who was born with cerebral palsy and has never been able to walk, talk, or even use his hands efficiently, will be given the opportunity through this new technology to use a computer to communicate with his family and friends. 

EagleEyes is an innovative eye-controlled technology developed by Professor James Gips at Boston College. It helps individuals with profound physical disabilities to interact and learn by using a computer. 

“I happened upon this rather unknown technology while doing an Internet search to find something out there that could help Keith to interact more with the world around him,” said Linda Marak, family support co-ordinator at Community Living of Kincardine and District. 

“I filled in an on-line application for an EagleEyes system on behalf of Keith and heard back from the foundation that same day! It was very exciting. It is our hope now that Keith’s life will be enhanced through self-directed recreational opportunities such as eye-controlled video games, but even more so by learning to use this technology to communicate clearly his thoughts and wishes.” 

An EagleEyes trainer will be arriving in early December from Salt Lake City, Utah, to train Keith, his family and workers to use this new technology. 

Appreciation goes to Meridian Credit Union for donating the funds to cover the two-day training fee as well as the airfare, meals and accommodation for the trainer to come to Kincardine, and to MTC Computers for donating a laptop computer for Keith to use with his EagleEyes system. 

Read the original story here.

High School Blog

Posted by Debbie Inkley on November 23, 2012

Olympus Highschool has a Caring in the Community class and has recently started volunteering with EagleEyes at Hartvigsen school for the disabled located in Salt Lake City, Utah. One of the students has written a blog post about their experience. Read her blog post here.

Tyler's Story

Posted by Debbie Inkley on October 2, 2012

Tyler_2.JPGRead this inspirational story of how a Mother had given up on eye gaze devices until EagleEyes worked in 2 minutes for her son after months of other devices having no success.

Find a window when a door closes

Posted by Debbie Inkley on August 20, 2012

Read about how Brooke found EagleEyes and her success. Read below or click here for the original blog post.

EagleEyes on KUTV News

Posted by Debbie Inkley on August 3, 2012

Watch an interview with Debbie Inkley, Executive Director of The Opportunity Foundation of America on KUTV news in Utah.

Kate Loves EagleEyes

Posted by Debbie Inkley on April 16, 2012

Kate.jpgWe are thrilled about the EagleEyes technology we were recently able to get for our sweet little daughter Kate.  Kate was born with undiagnosed brain damage that started some time in the womb.  After many consultations with doctors after her birth, the doctors have been unable to determine what caused the injury but feel that it may possibly be a rare genetic disorder.  Because of the injury to her brain, Kate currently has multiple disabilities.  She is unable to walk or use her hands, arms, or legs for function, and is confined to a wheelchair.  She is also unable to communicate verbally, although her vision has improved since birth.  Kate is a happy three year old girl, but has challenges that keep her from enjoying activities that her siblings and other children enjoy. 

Last year, we were able to watch “”Turning Point” on television and learn about EagleEyes and the amazing technology that it is for children like Kate.  And just recently, we received our own EagleEyes for Kate.  It is amazing to watch her be intrigued and pay attention by the games and the music and the scenes on the computer.  The first time we hooked it up to her to see if she would enjoy it, she spent a whole hour focusing and being thrilled by the system.  This kind of attention from Kate was not something that we were able to see before!  It was very touching to see it bring such joy to our little daughter.  We look forward to the future with the EagleEyes program and what it may hold for Kate, and for the chance that she will have to play everyday on her system. 


We are thankful for those who love children with disabilities, and see them as the amazing people that they are, and who have helped develop this amazing technology to improve their quality of life.  What a blessing EagleEyes is!

Written by Shannan Hoffman 

Kate’s Mom

McKay's Journey

Posted by Debbie Inkley on April 11, 2012

McKay_and_his_Dad_John1.jpg"We have been using EagleEyes for almost two months. McKay's condition, like many other children with disability, is both unique and severe. During the third trimester of pregnancy a blood clot formed on McKay's brain - it eventually grew, burst, and bled destroying most of the brain tissue. Although McKay was sent home after 18 days in the hospital with no life expectancy, he has beat the odds and will be turning 12 this summer. He has been mentally diagnosed with the capacity of a zero to one-month old infant. McKay has never cried, crawled, or walked. He does not track with his eyes and has no coordination with the movement of his arms and legs. He has been in a wheel chair or in a bed his entire life. McKay simply communicates through his behavior by showing either discomfort or comfort.


When we received EagleEyes we could not allow ourselves to expect too much. It is hard to believe that McKay would ever be able to communicate after 11 years of life. After using Eagle Eyes for close to two months, on March 27th it appeared that McKay triggered the target two or three times within 15 minutes. At that point our 8 year-old daughter suggested I get out the video camera because they were having so much fun. Although the tape was at the end and the battery was low, I turned the camera on hoping to record something. We had a great time together!  (see the video below)

McKay__his_brothers_using_Eagle1.jpgAs a family we understand that many with severe disabilities have learned to communicate through EagleEyes while others have not shown significant change. Being so early in the process, we are still not totally sure McKay is actually using his eyes to  trigger the targets. However, we have learned that EagleEyes might be doing something more for our family. For the first time in McKay's life we watched his brothers and sister join with him in a purposeful, fun, rewarding activity. In our home the typical interaction with McKay has always been centered around the day-to-day physical care of feeding, changing, dressing, and bathing him. Beyond the attention provided through his physical care, our family outings and gatherings seemingly go on with him just "being" there. 

Not only is EagleEyes providing McKay with the potential of learning cause and effect, but it has also provided his Mom, Dad, brothers and sister with new ways to interact with him! This means so much to our little family. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!" 

Written by John Roe

 McKay’s Dad




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