Recently the Wells family of Gilbert, Arizona, invited us into their home to talk about their daughter Whitney’s experience with the new EyeOn Go communication device from EyeTech Digital Systems.
Whitney, who is nonverbal, relies heavily on sign language to communicate. With the portable EyeOn Go device, Whitney is able to use symbol or text-based communication to quickly generate words and sentences that are then spoken aloud or shared via a built-in messaging app. This enables her to easily communicate with more individuals, including those who are not familiar with sign language.
Whitney and EyeTech consultant Keith Jackson attend church together every Sunday. “I see her and she’s really good at signing, but I don’t know how to sign,” Keith reports. “Communication devices like this for nonverbal kiddos and adults are really amazing to help connect families, therapists, and friends with special people like Whitney.”
“When she has nurses here, most of them don’t sign when they first start,” shares Whitney’s mom, DeAnn Wells. “This can help her to communicate with them when they don’t know sign language.” To bridge the communication gap with in-home caregivers and others, Whitney can type on the EyeOn Go to share her thoughts and ideas aloud.
The 10-inch EyeOn Go speech generating device is the latest addition to the EyeTech family of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions. The lightweight communication aid is highly portable, with a long battery life to support communication enablement on the go. The device features phrase banking, word prediction, and animated sentence modeling to help build language across all user ages and capabilities. Users can access applications through the Google Play store.
“It’s been a pleasure to meet with Whitney and just see her fly on the device,” says Jackson. “As you can see, it’s a nice compact form factor running Android. It has a nice convenient handle. This is a purpose-built AAC device developed by our hardware team that’s running software that’s easy to customize. Right now, it’s a 40-button communication grid set, but you can easily change pictures-per-screen to 24 or something a little bigger that’s easier for kids or adults to navigate. It has a nice speaker quality so you can easily communicate wants and needs. Speakers are on both sides of the device, so it fills the room with a nice consistent sound.”
“Whitney always wants to be heard,” says DeAnn. “She’s always thinking and has an opinion about everything. When she knows somebody doesn’t know sign language, she gets frustrated. To be able to have her express her thoughts to people that don’t sign is huge for her. It relieves a lot of anxiety and helps her to feel like she’s a part of the conversation.”
“One of the things that we are really passionate about is the ongoing support of our devices,” shares Keith. With each of our devices comes a lifetime Success Coach where we can remote into the screen. We have a team of Success Coaches who are ATPs and SLPAs and they are passionate about helping individuals improve their communication and automate things in their environment. The EyeOn Go has IR built in so you can control you TV, lights, and fans, and really automate day-to-day tasks to make not only Whitney’s life easier, but the lives of those around her – her parents, her caregivers, her therapists. When she goes to high school, she can be very efficient in her communication.”
The EyeTech team is excited to see how individuals like Whitney and others can benefit from the new AAC device. To try the EyeOn Go speech generating device for yourself, schedule a demo or contact your local EyeTech rep at 888-539-3832.
The EyeTech team would like to send a special thank you to DeAnn, Jeff, and Whitney Wells for their help in making this video. Whitney, you are an inspiration to us all!
Here are a few fun facts Whitney shared with us using the EyeOn Go device:
- What’s your favorite sport? Cheerleading.
- How many siblings do you have: Two – Nick and Austin.
- What’s your favorite music? Rock and roll.