Students with disabilities use eyes to create art for Christmas cards

Students with disabilities use eyes to create art for Christmas cards

(Canyons School District, painting by Mackenzie)

4 photos
Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

MIDVALE — A school in the Canyons District is using state-of-the-art technology to help severely disabled students.

Jordan Valley School welcomes students from birth to 22 years of age who are severely disabled. Students who are unable to speak or use their arms to communicate use a technology called Eagle Eyes that allows them to communicate, learn and create with their eyes.

Principal Mark Donnely said electrodes are hooked up to individuals that monitor eye movements. As the users learn how to control the muscles in their eyes, they are able to move a computer cursor and fixate for short periods of time on a screen to pick out objects. This allows them to learn how to read, draw pictures and communicate with others.

"It's amazing to see how the students light up because probably for the first time in their life they are in control over something else," Donnely said.

Donnely also said that Eagle Eyes also allows families to interact more with their child in ways that they couldn't do before.

"For families, you see tears, because they knew how intelligent their child is — they knew that — but now they're actually seeing them show you what they know," Donnely said. "It's just an eye-opener for everyone that's involved in it."

Eagle Eyes is also working on a standardized IQ test that can be taken within the parameters of this new technology, Donnely said.

Canyons School District sent out its annual Christmas cards this year with pictures drawn by students with their eyes.


Related links

Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Becky Bruce and Heather Kelly


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast