Clicker Success Stories

Maureen Gates 

Just Imagine…

Imagine being born with such severe disabilities that you are confined to a wheelchair and have no means of communication except eye movement. You are diagnosed with a mental age of less than eighteen months because no one has any way of knowing what you are capable of thinking and feeling. Then imagine that one-day technology allows your “voice” to be heard and you are suddenly able to achieve what no one thought possible. That is the story of Michael Nash, who at age twelve became a fully integrated student at Marshfield Public Schools in Massachusetts and who, thanks to EagleEyes technology and Clicker software, was able to communicate for the first time.

EagleEyes, developed at Boston College Campus School, allows a computer to detect and measure minute electrical signals that indicate movement of the eyes. Clicker software allowed Michael’s teacher, Maureen Gates, to create Clicker grids with words and pictures with which Michael used to communicate. By moving his eyes, Michael would select words in the grid, then, a “dwell time click” would “highlight the words in the grid and print them in the Clicker Writer” communicating what Michael was thinking. Also, Ms. Gates was able to modify the assessments of the regular curriculum into a multiple-choice format allowing Michael to demonstrate knowledge along with his peers. Using Clicker software, Michael was able to write the story of his life in a documentary entitled “I’m In Here” series Episode One “Michael’s Eagle Eyes”.”

Technologies such as EagleEyes and Clicker are helping to create a world where the voices of individuals with special needs can finally be heard. Just imagine…