I am writing as Ruan Belcher’s AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) practitioner, to urge you support Ruan and his family in buying an Eye Control system for Ruan. Ruan has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia and is therefore severely physically disabled, speechless and unable to communicate in any other way.
Presently Ruan has no voice to tell you if his tears are from pain, from depression or from hunger. Every Doctor, every carer and family member needs to guess what they think is going on ,try something and then maybe try something else. If Ruan had a voice, he could give that kind of information as he has the mental capacity to do so.
We are trying to raise funds for Ruan, to buy a Tobii eye control system. This is a special system for severely disabled individuals who have very little or no, voluntary movement of their extremities, as well as severe involuntary movements of, their head.
The Tobii eye control system, as is shown in the pictures, is a computer-like screen on top and just underneath the screen is a specialised camera that tracks the individuals eye movement. The system detects where the indidvidual is looking and thereby the individual is able to control the system with their eyes, like one is able to control a computer with a mouse.
This system will, for the first time in his life, be able to give Ruan an audible voice. A voice which he has not had for 14 years. The potential of a system like this for Ruan, is something that will completely change the path for his entire life. He will no longer be a case for a nursing home or care centre in the future but if used correctly he can become a meaningful member of society, who can work, answer telephones, access the internet and become more independent, requiring a lower level of care in the future.
There are indivduals just like Ruan that are earning an income by writing books, controlling internet based companies and running their own lives. The potential is endless, once Ruan can communicate, but without this he will not even be able to tell you when he needs to use the toilet. Without a voice he has nothing.
You have the potential to give Ruan a new life, a life in which he has a voice to speak out and be someone. I therefore urge you to consider our request to raise funds for this system.