“Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?” said Mr. Prosser. “How much?” asked Arthur Dent. “None at all,” Mr. Prosser replied.
(Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
I love Douglas Adams’ antihero, Arthur Dent, a bewildered soul who can never quite make sense of an absurd, fickle universe that constantly conspires against him.
As the parent of a child with profound physical impairment, I have sometimes felt a lot like Arthur Dent must have felt – monumentally unprepared in his dressing gown to face down the bulldozers that had come to vigorously rearrange his pleasant little existence.
I describe myself in this blog as a ‘surprised pessimist’. I’m afraid I am not optimistic by nature. Being my son Christopher’s constant companion and carer for over a decade, I have frequently been very pessimistic about his future and, indeed, mine; and yet…
In this image, you see me sitting alongside him as he edits video on his MacBook Pro, using a single switch strapped to his wheelchair headrest that he taps with his head. We were at a national conference where he was an invited keynote speaker! Was I ever optimistic enough to think that he, quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, could be at home in such a world? Never.
Watching my son embrace the rapid development in consumer technology and the internet have restored my optimism. Christopher now runs his own video-editing business, consults with a wide range of people and organisations and has taken control of much of his life because of his mastery of Switch Control and the computers and devices this gives him access to.
In this blog, I’d like to share with you something of my journey as a carer and introduce you to some of the startling developments in technology that have changed our lives.
Whatever your experiences as a parent, carer, support worker, family member or friend to someone with a disability; I hope you will find something in this blog to refresh your optimism and help you feel you are not alone.