Having lost my voice back in late 2019, I’ve been lucky enough to have the use of some incredible technology in the form of my Eye Gaze.
The device attaches to my tablet and a camera tracks my eye movements to move the mouse across the screen. A speech generating device enables me to actively engage in conversations, converting my typed words to voice. I can even talk to family and friends with TeamViewer, a screen sharing software, that allows the person I’m talking with to be able to see my screen on their computer and what I’m saying (typing). All of this amazing technology makes it possible for me to be independent, check on Facebook, send emails, search for things on the internet and so much more.
I am not just confined to using the Eye Gaze at home. There is a special arm that attaches to my wheelchair so if we go out, my Tablet can come with me and I can continue to communicate with those around me. There are some circumstances that don’t permit me to do this, such as hot or glary weather, because the device relies on my pupils to understand which letters on the keyboard I’m looking at. In these cases, my carers are well versed in asking questions that allow me to answer yes with a simple blink of my eyes.
Even so, I continue to do whatever I can through speech therapy sessions to give myself the best chance of getting my voice back. Naturally I’ve been told it is ‘impossible’, but I say ‘Fuck You MND’ – I am determined to change the narrative and the outcome to ‘I’m Possible’, my speech is possible! Stay tuned…