Dr Mick Donegan – Adjunct Senior Lecturer, SMARTlab, Faculty of Education, UCD (Also Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Design, OCAD University, Canada)
Professor Mick Donegan’s research draws on his many years of practice-based work as a teacher and an Assistive Technology specialist who has extensive experience in assessing, teaching, training, and supporting people with complex communication difficulties. During 2004-2009 he was the User Requirements Coordinator in COGAIN (www.cogain.org), a European Network of Excellence investigating the use of gaze control for people with complex disabilities.
In 2008, he founded a charity, SpecialEffect (www.specialeffect.org.uk) which uses specialised technology to enhance access to videogames and creative self-expression for people with a wide range of disabilities. Many of those he supports have very complex disabilities, including locked-in syndrome.
In April 2009, he was involved in SMARTlab’s ground-breaking ‘Duet for Eyes’ performance at the Science Gallery, Dublin, during which two people with complex disabilities performed a musical duet using gaze controlled technology, accompanied by some of Ireland’s leading professional musicians.
For the last two years he has been an Advisor for the European Commission funded “T.O.B.I.” (Tools for Brain-Computer Interaction) Project.” He has presented and published widely in the area of Assistive Technology. He co-wrote and edited “Gaze Interaction and Applications of Eye Tracking: Advances in Assistive Technologies”, which was published as a Premier Reference Source by IGI Global in 2011.
Mick continues to be driven by a passion to utilise whatever technology is available to reduce the gap between potential and performance for all people with disabilities and an eagerness to collaborate with others who are similarly motivated to enhance their quality of life as much as possible, as quickly as possible.