When I start to think about it, I can’t even get my head around how important communication is to me. We communicate so much, every day, and we rely on speech, on our ability to have conversations, on typing texts and emails. If we suddenly weren’t able to do these things, it would be devastating. I recently spent an afternoon at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in South West London. The hospital is doing amazing things for people who have profound disabilities – people who have acquired brain injuries and people who have degenerative neurological conditions like Huntington’s disease.
Some patients at the hospital are unable to communicate, unless that have access to an amazing (but very expensive) piece of equipment called EyeGaze. It’s a small camera and sensor which attaches to a normal computer monitor which picks up on someone’s eye movements to control the computer. Just a flicker of the eye can help the patient speak, write emails, surf Facebook and even play games.
To highlight Brain Awareness Week (which is happening right now – 10th to 16th March 2014) the RHN invited some comedians, bloggers, campaigners and fashion icons to the hospital to try out the EyeGaze equipment. I went along two weeks ago, and my breath was taken away by how clever EyeGaze is.
You can see how I got on, trying out EyeGaze, here in this video and you can see how bloggers Poppy Dinsey, Charlotte and Kara got on too. I’d ask you to use your brain and donate today. Give a patient at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability the chance to communicate again – the equipment is so expensive but it’s life changing.
This really is amazing, so incredible to see how technology can change lives for the better and help to develop new skills or give back those that have been lost.