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Posted on September 21, 2022

Meet Kellie

Hear from Kellie about her experience using assistive technology in her everyday life.

Kellie is 22 years old, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and lives in Northern Ireland with her parents.

In her free time, Kellie enjoys swimming and is a self-professed addict of medical TV programmes. She’s a foodie who loves going out to restaurants, and a music lover. Kellie often takes short breaks to see live music and concerts. She dislikes, football, ‘and of course Covid-19’.

Find out more about Kellie…

Kellie is part of the Barnardo’s Northern Ireland Children and Young People’s Participation Project and in 2020 won the charity’s Young Achiever Award. Kellie answers some questions about using AAC and how she communicates as an eye-gaze user.

How do you communicate?
I communicate using an eye gaze computer and Grid 3. I use a mixture of pre-recorded words and phrases but also like the option of entering my own words.

How did you get started with AAC?
Many moons ago my Occupational Therapist introduced me to Barnardo’s and a project about using assistive technology. From there, I attend the Communications Centre in Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast and haven’t looked back.

A picture of Kellie with her Grid Pad 12, in front of her TV.
Kellie uses a Grid Pad 12 and eye gaze camera


How have things changed since then?
At the start it was frustrating not having compatible software and hardware with frequent crashes. From discovering Smartbox and help from Shaun, and my introduction to eye gaze technology, life has been like being in an ever-rising hot air balloon. In short, I now have a life and people realise that I am not stupid. I have made a number of public presentations using my eye gaze computer and now have a say on matters in my life.

A picture of Kellie (the user) in her wheelchair, sat in her living room.
Kellie in her home

What are your plans for the future?
Simple, to be happy. To be as independent as possible and have my say on what I do. I want to continue knocking down barriers. I have a voice and I intend to use it to the max.

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We are collecting stories of people who use Grid to show how assistive technology helps people communicate and live more independent lives.

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