Independence for Israel, Independence for our Children: Binaya’s Story
Binaya is six years old. He is a child who always has a smile on his face. He loves music, swimming, and playing with friends. Binaya also has Cerebral Palsy, which means he does not walk or speak, and has very limited control of his hands.
Until recently, no one knew whether Binaya would ever be able to truly communicate. His parents, teachers, and friends who love him were rarely able to understand him, or know whether they had been understood.
The staff have been teaching Binaya how to communicate using the Tobii Eye Tracking System. The system works by using a small camera programmed to capture the movements of his eyes, and give him control over the mouse of a computer, tablet, or smart phone, enabling him to click on whatever he wants and make the computer speak for him.
The staff and the school principal all say that within the past month, Binaya has begun to deliver clear, coherent messages much more quickly than they expected. You can see how much he wants to communicate via the computer because he uses it all the time in the context of what is happening around him. He says “Good morning” as people enter the classroom at the start of the day, and says “I want to say something” when he has something to say. We are thrilled with the speed at which he has taken to the system, and how he has begun to truly interact. His incredible breakthrough will transform his life, and the lives of his family members, forever.
We are so thrilled that as we celebrate Israel’s 70th year of Independence, we can also celebrate the phenomenal strides towards independence of so many children with disabilities here at Beit Issie Shapiro.
In the words of Theodor Herzl,