Development of Eye-Gaze Control Skills - Insights from a Typically Developing Population

  • Griffiths, T. (Speaker)
  • Michael T. Clarke (Contributor)
  • John Swettenham (Contributor)
  • Charlotte Whitwood (Contributor)
  • Cook Amy (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The use of eye-gaze control technologies as a method to access computers and AAC devices is increasingly widespread for children with severe motor impairments. Often, such technologies are introduced to children at a young developmental age, with the goal of teaching them the core skills needed to control them.

Previous work by our team presented at this conference suggested that typically developing children with a developmental age between 18-24 months were not able to complete an activity consisting of learning the functions of two different onscreen buttons and using this knowledge to complete a cause and effect task. These children were developmentally mature enough to demonstrate established cause and effect in other areas. The research suggested that the development of sustained attention may be an important factor in learning to complete tasks
such as these using eye-gaze technology.

This paper will present a follow-up study with another group of typically developing children. The study examines whether increasing the salience of visual stimuli and the reward generated by successfully completing a task allows the engagement of a developmentally younger population, allowing more effective assessment of their learning to use eye-gaze technology. This research is part of an ongoing programme of work with the goal of designing accessible activities to gain insight into how developmentally younger children with motor and cognitive impairments develop the skills needed to control eye-gaze technology systems.

At the time of submitting this abstract, data collection is underway, with children in the study trialling the activities. The results of these trials, together with the results of standardised assessments of language and cognition, will be presented in this paper. Presenters will demonstrate some of the resources used, present the
findings and discuss the implications of this study for future research design and clinical practice.
Period10 Sept 2017
Event titleCommunication Matters : CM2017 National AAC Conference
Event typeConference
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational