Willow Dene recognises the significant potential offered by eye-gaze technology to support children’s learning and communication, particularly for children with physical disabilities, who are working at early development levels.

Through using eye gaze to access a computer, children work through a progression of awareness, control and skills, which starts with sensory awareness, then progresses onto early eye-tracking, exploration and choosing, then on to more advanced skills of turn-taking and communication.

At every stage, the aim is for learning to be fun and personalised for children’s individual motivations and ability. Eye Control and Gaze Interaction are taught in a structured way, in order to support children to learn the practical and cognitive skills needed to reach the level of ability required to actively make choices. Ultimately, eye gaze technology enables children who have very limited physical movement to exert control over their environment.

We are committed to evolving and enhancing the learning landscape for all children. Eye-gaze technology has the potential to provide some of our children a unique way of independently exploring and engaging, and have fun doing it.

Since we introduced our first system in 2013, eye-gaze has had a significant impact on our children’s learning, not only cognitively and communicatively, but also supporting physical skills of head control. As well as a dedicated eye-gaze studio on each site, which enables children to use the technology in a distraction free environment, we have introduced eye-gaze systems into four of our classroom settings, where there are a high number of users who benefit from more frequent opportunities to practice their skills.

We are constantly expanding our repertoire of eye-gaze software. Our favourite titles include:

Sensory Eye-FX

Look to Learn

Scenes and Sounds

Clicker 7

Communicator 5