Imagine not being able to ask for the things you need … Not being able to talk with friends … Not able to tell your children that you love them?
This is the reality facing people living with motor neurone disease.
MND is progressive neurological disease affecting movement, breathing, eating, and eventually the ability to communicate.
You can help give them back their voice. Your gift will help provide communication devices that give people living with motor neurone disease the opportunity to connect with family and friends once more.
That’s why we need your help.
Each Eyegaze communication device costs around $18,000, however for someone with motor neurone disease, being given the ability to communicate is priceless.
It’s absolutely vital for MND NSW to provide these devices to people over the age of 65, as they cannot access any government funding or support to help with the cost of trialling or purchasing Eyegaze units.
Will you donate now and give the gift of communication to someone living with MND this Christmas?
What is an Eyegaze?
It is an electronic device that allows a person to control a computer or tablet by looking at words or commands on a video screen. A very low intensity light shines into one of the user's eyes. A television camera picks up reflections from the cornea and retina.
The device works by tracking the eye movements of the user, allowing them to quickly and effectively communicate with others, surf the net, send and receive emails and images, and even control appliances and other devices around them – such as sound systems or lighting in their home.
A communication device such as Eyegaze is a game changer for people with motor neurone disease keeping them connected to the people they love.
How Your Gift will Help Make a Difference
Anthony uses an Eyegaze device, and for him, it’s been a vital technology to communicate with after losing his speech and ability to move his hands. By using the device, he can continue sharing his thoughts and feelings with friends, family, and care providers, can play games with his son, and can catch up on the latest news and sports.
“My ability to speak had deteriorated to the point where I was left with just a few basic words and short phrases. At the same time I was losing the use of my fingers making it a challenge to operate a computer. My occupational therapist loaned me a laptop computer with an Eyegaze camera mounted on a movable stand.
With the assistance of my speech therapist I quickly learnt to use the new device. It comes with a special software package called Grid 3. There is a chat function which I use daily. This has given me a voice and it’s saved me from isolation and depression. I am able to communicate with my amazing family and service providers and maintain a positive outlook which is essential for having a chance to recover.
I use the computer for daily meditation and yoga nidra as well as catching up on the news, sports and the occasional movie.
The Eyegaze computer is a wonderful tool that has given me such joy to be able to share thoughts and feelings with my family. My wonderful wife Eva is able to gain my advice on things around the home and garden and four year old Alexander enjoys playing computer chess with me. Alexander likes to change the voice settings without me knowing. Its remarkable that people get used to my male computer voice but occasionally we all have a laugh when suddenly I type a phrase and select speak and my voice is that of a sweet lady.”
– Anthony Geddes
Will you help us share that positive impact with other members living with MND?
Glenn uses communication technologies similar to the Eyegaze devices that we are looking to loan to people living with MND over the age of 65. The technology has had a big impact on the lives of Glenn and his family:
“The difference this system has made to my ability to communicate, keep in touch with friends and basically get back some real independence is hard to explain unless you've been through it.
Before I had this system I had another one that was very slow to communicate so I basically used it to watch movies and TV shows. I rarely typed more than the odd word or two but now I am typing detailed emails, back on social media and most importantly I keep in touch with the kids via the SMS function on this system.
– Glenn Sargood