Computer gift to Cassington charity gives voice to the disabled

thisisoxfordshire: John Deeley with the special computer Buy this photo John Deeley with the special computer

A HI-TECH computer is helping disabled people to communicate.

The Ace Centre, in Cassington, which provides specialist support to people with physical or learning disabilities and language disorders, has acquired a Tobii 1-12 computer, that uses eye-tracking technology to control the mouse and keyboard.

Fundraiser Helen Lerwill said: “Somebody who doesn’t have very good control or no control at all over their arms or legs can use this.

“It opens up a whole world for them. Often these are people who can’t communicate, and this is their way to do that.”

Ms Lerwill, from Shipton-under-Wychwood, said: “The device has already been used by 20 children since we’ve had it. It has made a huge difference to be able to add it to our technology library. It means that we can find the best solution to enable the children we work with to communicate.

“It also gives their parents and the professionals who work with them the chance to see whether eye-gaze equipment is right for the child before having to make an expensive purchase.”

The £8,500 device was donated to the centre, at Jericho Farm Barns, off Yarnton Road, by the county branch of fundraising charity Wooden Spoon.

Chairman John Deeley said: “We raise about £10,000 each year and give it out to four or five different charities. The Ace Centre is a really worthwhile cause.

“I raise money through a summer ball, golf events and runs with my mates.”

l For more information, see acecentre.org.uk or call 0800 080 3115

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