Clicker Success Story

Fiona Tyler

Mother of Becky, age 14.

My daughter Becky is 14 years old. She is extremely bright and has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which affects her whole body. She cannot sit unsupported, stand or walk, so is a full-time wheelchair user. She struggles to coordinate her arms and hands and she cannot talk. 

Becky first started using Clicker when she was 5 years old. At first she accessed the program using a head switch, which was successful but rather slow going. Then, about 7 years ago, she started working with Tobii eye gaze technology, which was when things really took off!

Clicker 7 has its own eye gaze setting, which makes it compatible with any eye gaze system. This is fantastic for Becky as it means she can access the program independently. 

As Becky has grown, Clicker has grown with her. When she was younger she used it to produce many beautiful pictures. Now, it's her preferred tool for tackling curriculum writing tasks at school and at home.

Where Clicker really comes into its own for this kind of task is the ability to create specific topic word banks. Becky is non-verbal and uses symbol- and text-based vocabulary sets for day-to-day communication and writing. While these cover basic words, they don't include those specialist key topic words Becky needs for school subjects like science, history, geography, etc. It would be incredibly time consuming if we had to add all these words into her sets individually, particularly as she generally only needs to access them on a temporary basis.

As Becky has grown, Clicker has grown with her. When she was younger she used it to produce many beautiful pictures. Now, it's her preferred tool for tackling curriculum writing tasks at school and at home.

With Clicker 7, Becky can simply Google a topic, find a webpage about it, copy and paste the text into Clicker and transform it (in seconds) into a bank of key words to support her writing. Just like that, she has a bank of accessible, relevant vocabulary at her fingertips; this alone has saved us HOURS of programming time!

Once Becky starts writing, she can use the excellent SuperKeys feature to ‘zoom in' on certain areas of the word bank to make it quicker and easier to make her choices. Clicker's speech feedback enables her to listen to a word before using it, and also encourages her to listen back to her work and self-correct it. She also loves the word prediction tool; it really helps to speed up the writing process for her.

It's so important that Becky can just go into Clicker and get on with her work – she is able to keep up with her writing in class and needs much less help from her support assistant. It also makes the act of writing a lot less laborious than she has found it with other writing tools she's tried, which ultimately makes for a much more motivating and enjoyable writing experience. 

Clicker 7 plays a big part in making literacy tasks accessible and achievable for Becky; I can't wait to see what she does next with it!