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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Demystifying Eye Gaze Access

Date & Time
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 4:20 PM PST  
Platinum 2-3  

When asked how eye gaze systems work, very few clinical evaluators can explain the process called the "pupil-center corneal reflection method" of eye-tracking. While the pupil-center corneal reflection method is not rocket science, understanding the eye-tracking instrument's process to predict a user's gaze point can significantly increase clinicians' critical thinking skills and overall success during evaluation and therapy. Increasing these critical thinking skills will allow therapists to understand when and for whom an eye gaze system might make sense.

Eye-tracking is a mechanical process employing geometry (determining the radius of curvature of an eyeball), then analyzing light reflections on the eyeball to predict the user's gaze location. This process allows human-computer interaction that seems a little bit magical to first-time users! When using eye gaze systems, the eye-typically used as an input sensory system-now becomes an output system, providing a novel way to access language, curricula, and the digital world of information.

Calibration to an eye gaze system is often used as the predictor for successful device use. It can give clinicians critical data and insight into the user's eye movements and abilities. When a person calibrates an eye gaze system, they are using visual pursuit, where the eyes are somewhat unconsciously following a moving target. This doesn't mean they understand what they are doing or can volitionally control their eyes once calibrated. Distinguishing between visual pursuit and volitional eye control is a skill that evaluators must understand for successful patient engagement with any eye gaze device.

When working with individuals with complex medical situations, we must understand that various medical conditions can affect volitional eye control. Real-life examples of these complexities will be presented, along with eye images collected by the Eyegaze Edge SGD to demonstrate atypical eye physiology and environmental factors that can make or break success, along with potential solutions for the evaluating clinicians.

Unique features of the Eyegaze Edge will be presented that aid evaluators in the assessment process of complex eye gaze communicators. For example, eye gaze systems should always give evaluators the necessary data about calibration accuracy. Is the user within an inch of the target? A half-inch? A quarter-inch? Knowing this information allows clinicians to know the functional size of screen targets to allow full, accurate access. Also, knowing user-friendly software accommodation features to use mid-evaluation, depending on a patient's eye conditions, can lead to efficiently finding the best solution for a communicator's needs.

In this session, attendees will receive a brief review of the anatomy and physiology of the eye, practical tips for eliminating complicating factors within their control, and features of the Eyegaze Edge that can overcome challenges during assessment due to atypical eye physiology and movement disorders.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of March 14, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • K-12 Education
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
An eye gaze assessment can be an intimidating type of evaluation to perform. In this session, you will learn how eye gaze systems work and how to pre-screen an individual for optimal success. See typical and atypical eye images, their accompanying diagnoses, and discuss considerations for successful eye gaze access.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communications (AAC)
  • Employment & Workplace
  • Evaluation & Remediation
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Product Demonstration


  • Katerina Fassov
    Eyegaze Inc.

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