Imagine for a moment knowing that within months you will lose your voice forever. This is the reality for Lisa.
Lisa’s voice is weaker than it was in 2014 when she was first diagnosed with ALS. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS affects the parts of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement, including the ability to speak.
The team at Pine Tree Society is working with Lisa to set up tools that will allow her to communicate in her own voice after she loses the ability to talk.
Pine Tree Society’s speech language pathologists are recording Lisa’s voice into a message bank. Because she is losing the ability to use her arms and hands, we are teaching Lisa to use eye tracking technology. Eye tracking is a perfect fit for people who are unable to physically use a computer mouse or type on a keyboard. A special camera picks up light reflections from Lisa’s pupils and translates that movement into the movement of her mouse cursor. Lisa can then select the item by staring at the screen for a length of time and blinking. Through the use of eye motion, she’ll be able to select words, letters and icons on a device to communicate what she wishes to say from her personalized message bank.