Sara Frunzi Capstone


The goal of my capstone project was to develop a new way for speech therapists and parents to communicate with their nonverbal children. Originally the final product was planned to be an app using eye gaze technology, but due to COVID-19 making some resources inaccessible, the final product being presented is a video explaining how the app, HeyeLight, would have worked, as well as a donation to Easterseals of Southeastern Pennsylvania in the form of an iPad Pro. While the project goal was only accomplished in theory, I was able to accomplish several personal goals for my project, including learning how to design an app using programming languages HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, as well as how to solve a real-world problem using the engineering design process. I started this project in the fall by researching disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, and asking professionals at the Easterseals of Southeast Pennsylvania what problems they deal with on a day-to-day basis. A common problem for young children with cerebral palsy is communication. Speech therapy, including eye gaze sessions, can help with communication, however many eye gaze apps that are currently on the market rely on clipart or keyboards, an understanding that many young, preschool-aged children do not possess. My solution to this problem is HeyeLight, an app that applies user-uploaded photos as the subject of the eye-gaze session, causing a higher level of understanding in the child using it.