Extra-Ability WorkshopFollowing on from the significant community interest we have received in the SMARTlab’s technologies, since the airing of the Science Squad programme on RTÉ 1: A Sense of Things to Come, we are hosting a special community engagement workshop on Extra Ability on Friday 13 July.

The Extra Ability open workshop, Directed by Dr Mick Donegan (European eye control expert/Director of SpecialEffect charity) and Professor Lizbeth Goodman (Chair of Creative Technology Innovation at UCD and SMARTlab Director), will feature an eye-control technology demonstration and show innovative methods and tools for communication with and by people with learning and physical disabilities.

RSVP to: Ms Ricki Schoen: email /+353 1 716 7970

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Stay tuned for SMARTlab’s debut on RTÉ 1, as The Science Squad takes an entertaining look at some of the exciting and important scientific research that is currently underway in Ireland.

Programme 1 – A Sense of Things to Come (click to view The SMARTlab segment) , airs at 7pm, 14 June:

The Science Squad investigates innovative sensing technology being developed by Irish scientists, from the heavy hitters on the international rugby pitch to the fragile brains of newborn babies, and meets people with severe physical disabilities who are using sensors to create and play music with their eyes. Featuring Prof. Lizbeth Goodman, Dr Mick Donegan, Sapna Ramnani (SMARTlab PhD candidate), Amy Kelly, Daniel O’Haire, Steve Cooney and Kíla.

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The Sunday Times ran a half-page feature (click image for larger view) in April on Dr Mick Donegan’s work with the Tobii eye-gaze system, as part of the SMARTlab’s InterFACES project (putting a human face on new technologies for learning and communication). Much of Dr Donegan’s work is targeted at raising awareness of the possibilities that this technology offers, as a means of communication for people with serious disabilities who otherwise could not communicate, and as a computer interface for those who otherwise couldn’t interact with a computer. Having transformed lives through his charity SpecialEffect and his work as co-PI on InterFACES, Dr Donegan’s main aim now is to bring this technology into the mainstream, making it more affordable and widely available. Dr Donegan is the Leader of the SMARTlab’s Multimodal and Assistive Technologies Research Group.

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On 1 March 2012, G1 publishers released the series ‘Transformers – people who change the world‘, which tells stories of people who changed their own lives in order to make significant contributions to the lives of others.

Dr Mick Donegan is the founder and director of SpecialEffect,  a UK charity that adapts free video game controls and computer games for people with physical disabilities. Read more… (The article is in Portuguese so you may want to use a translation browser plugin).

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