Karen was assessed by EATS in December 2016 at her home. Previously Karen had been able to speak but this became increasingly difficult so she could not say everything she wanted because she kept running out of breath and, therefore, her voice. People who know her well were, and still are, able to understand what Karen says but it is much more difficult for unfamiliar communication partners.
An electronic communication device was provided to support Karen’s communication and this enables her to get her message across to anyone she meets. Karen controls the device via a head mouse. A head mouse is a special camera that tracks a tiny reflective dot worn on Karen’s glasses to move a cursor around the screen to select letters from an alphabet page. Letters and words are selected by holding the cursor in one place for a specific length of time (this is called dwelling). There are predictions on the page to help speed up communication and Karen is able to pre-programme phrases and save them on the device for when she needs them.
Karen also uses her device to access other communication media such a Facebook, Skype and email. EATS worked alongside the local service provider for environmental controls so Karen is also able to control her television using the communication device.
Any communication method that is not speech takes more time to get a point across and much of what Karen says in the video was pre-programmed by her for the purpose of the recording.
If you have any questions you would like to ask us or Karen, please send them via our email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, a big thank you to Karen helping us put together this video.