Authors: Yu-Hsin Hsieh, Mats Granlund, Samuel L. Odom,
Ai-Wen Hwang & Helena Hemmingsson


Purpose: Eye-gaze assistive technology offers children with severe motor and communication difficulties the opportunity to access and control a computer through eye movements. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of eye-gaze assistive technology intervention on participation in computer activities and technology usability among children with complex needs in Taiwan.

Materials and methods: This study involved a multiple baseline design across individuals. The participants were four children aged three to six years with severe motor and communication difficulties and low eye-control skills. The six-month intervention consisted of two collaborative team meetings and 12 individual supports to facilitate the use of eye-gaze assistive technology at home or in educational environments. Participation in computer activities (diversity, frequency, and duration) was repeatedly measured through a computer use diary. Other outcomes included assessments of goal achievements and parents/teachers’ ratings on children’s performance in computer activities.

Results: The young children increased the diversity of their computer activities and their frequency and duration of computer use from baseline to the intervention phase. The children attained six of eight predefined goals related to play, communication, and school learning. Parents and teachers perceived the children’s changes in performance as meaningful.

Conclusion: This study strengthens the evidence that eye-gaze assistive technology is useful in everyday contexts for children with complex needs in Taiwan. The findings add knowledge that children with weak eye-control skills increased participation in computer activities as a result of the eye-gaze assistive technology.

This research is financed by: Stiftelsen Clas Groschinskys Minnesfond, Stiftelsen Kempe-Carlgrenska Fonden, Folke Bernadotte Stiftelsen, Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse, and inernal funding from Stockholm University.