“Elin will never be able to hold a pen or type on a keyboard, so the Tobii solutions fits her very well. It’s her tool for meeting the world”- Lotta Appelqvist, Elin’s mother.
“Sometimes when I tell Elin to turn down the volume she shows us who is in charge by raising it instead. Then, she laughs so hard that she almost falls out of her wheelchair,” says Elin’s mother Lotta.
Cheerful laughter is heard from Elin’s room, where she’s watching video clips on YouTube. She loves to listen to music and watch comedy clips in the house she shares with her father, Olle Petersson, and several assistants that take turns helping out. Her mother lives close by.
After a dramatic birth, Elin was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, and though she can make herself understood by speaking, to the untrained ear it’s difficult to understand what she is saying. Her MyTobii P10 helps her make herself understood.
“It gives her the opportunity to communicate with her surroundings and helps her become more intellectually independent,” says Lotta.
“Through Tobii’s tools, Elin has noticed that she has control over some things on her own. She can, for example, choose which songs she wants to listen to and which videos she wants to see. I think she will continue using the equipment in a more refined way than today, as she develops and understands what she can do with it,” her mother says.
Elin gives commands to the MyTobii P10 by using her eyes to look at a digital keyboard on the screen. She selects the letters that, supported by word prediction, join up to form words and sentences. Then, she decides which of the music videos she wants to watch by blinking her eyes.
Messages on Facebook
One of Elin’s latest messages on Facebook, was sent to her boyfriend, Daniel, who goes to the same school as she does. With a big smile on her face she writes, “I love you.”
“If she did not have access to Tobii’s equipment,” says Lotta, “I think, in the future, she would have become frustrated at having such a large potential, but lacking a tool to communicate with the world.”
A dignified life
Eye tracking is adapted to function optimally for people who have large movement patterns, such as those with cerebral palsy. The system is controlled with the eyes only. The eye tracker is calibrated for use over a wide area, keeping the user from disappearing from view.
Today, Tobii is one of the leading players in the field of assistive and augmentative communication (AAC) tools. The company is constantly striving to develop products that give disabled people greater opportunities to live dignified lives.