Category Archives: spina bifida

Gadget lets you control computer with your eyes

A researcher in London has created a low-cost device which allows wearers to use their eye movements to control a computer

By Tom Levitt, for CNN
September 24, 2012 — Updated 0848 GMT (1648 HKT) |
A researcher in London has created a low-cost device which allows wearers to use their eye movements to control a computer

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New low-cost glasses allow you a wearer to control gadgets, even objects with their eyes
  • Eye-tracking equipment could help Multiple Sclerosis and other brain disorders
  • Technology could start a new era of hands-free computing

(CNN) — Take two video-game console cameras and one pair of horn-rimmed glasses and for around $30 you have a device that will allow you to control a computer or, potentially, even a wheelchair with your eyes.

Previously, if you wanted to buy similar eye-tracking equipment it would have cost you upwards of $8,000. Now, scientists in London have pioneered a device, the GT3D, using components anyone of us can buy from the shopping mall.

‘PROVE you’re disabled’: What council told wheelchair-bound spina bifida sufferer

  • Nicola Parnell said staff told her to go home and come back with evidence she really had spina bifida

By Emma Reynolds

A woman in a wheelchair who asked for a key to the disabled toilets was horrified when council staff told her to provide proof that she really had spina bifida.

Nicola Parnell, 32, visited East Staffordshire Borough Council’s customer services office to buy access to the facilities at her local shopping centre in Burton-on-Trent.

But she said jobsworth staff demanded she produce evidence of her chronic illness – despite the fact she was in a wheelchair and her body is the size of a 10-year-old’s.

Shocked: Nicola Parnell was left distraught when council staff told her to go home and get evidence she really had spina bifida

‘I asked the receptionist if I could buy a key and she said she couldn’t give me one unless I could prove that I was disabled,’ said a shocked Ms Parnell.

‘She said I’d need to go home and come back with some identification; either my blue badge or a letter showing my disability living allowance.

‘What more proof did she need than me being in front of her in a wheelchair? I clearly look disabled.

‘My body is about the same size as a 10-year-old’s – surely that is enough proof.’

Ms Parnell claims she asked a receptionist to look for her details on the council’s computer system as she had been to the office a month earlier to update her blue badge.

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