This week we trialed the Dynavox Eyemax at Edda’s school. This is the 2nd machine we’ve tried after the MyTobii a few weeks ago. The company that makes the Dynavox machine has long been the leader in augmentative communication devices and I was really hoping that Edda would be able to use the eye gaze effectively. You can see the cameras on the bottom of the device in the following photo – they are located in the little black bar…
Edda had a really hard time calibrating her eye gaze with the camera. We tried a few times – different distances and different positions. It was not easy. Edda soon tired of the whole thing and:
Edda’s teacher and I both used her nap time to try and calibrate our own eyes and we found that it was even difficult for us to get calibrated. The eye gaze capability of this machine does not seem as robust as the MiTobii which seemed to have no problem with calibration. So comparing the two systems so far, the MyTobii is out ahead.
I’m not sure how likely the school system is going to pay for these systems – at $17K each, it’s a large expense for any cash-strapped school system. We need to show that Edda has functional use of the machine, that she can answer questions or categorize things and at both of these eye-gaze trials, she failed to show either ability although I acknowledge it is like trying to play the piano without lessons and practicing.