Andrea Solomon writes children’s books using eye gaze technology.
Sierra Lode, born with cerebral palsy, has spent most her life unable to talk. She has used many augmentative and alternative communication devices in her life, but most weren’t perfect. It took years to find the optimal AAC device, but when Lode discovered it, her life drastically changed — the technology would take her to great places that few people could have imagined.
In 1986 when Lode was 3, she received her first AAC — the “Light Talker.” The device scanned rows of different pictures representing what she wanted to say. When the device displayed what she wanted to say, she’d press a switch mounted near her cheek.
Having people wait on her to speak and not being able to be spontaneous in a conversation was difficult. “In circle, I would get passed up until I could acti