I live in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Australia. I am a recent ’empty-nester’ – my two adult children now living independently; but, happily for me, nearby.

Since 2003, I have been the primary carer for my son, Christopher, who is quadriplegic with cerebral palsy from a birth trauma. My years as a carer and parent have been personally very challenging to say the least. I have often struggled to develop the skills and to maintain the attitude needed to care for someone with profound physical disabilities. Along the way, I have learned a lot about myself; not all of it pretty!

I have also had to develop an intimate acquaintance with all manner of assistive and inclusive technologies; primarily switch access, and most recently Apple Switch Control, one of the accessibility features built into all Macs and iOS devices.

Switch Control has changed our lives. It has made the impossible possible.

I am not an optimist by nature or by experience. I try to look for the best, but there have been many times when I simply couldn’t discern anything hopeful through the fog of weariness and discouragement. Things have changed so radically for us over recent years that I now call myself ‘the surprised pessimist’. I never expected to feel so hopeful.

In a ‘past life’, I was an educator. I have designed, developed and facilitated several online vocational and undergraduate courses and participated in curriculum design and oversight.

In 2015, I was invited to become an Accessibility Ambassador and in 2016, I joined the Apple Consultants Network.

My new-found optimism underpins my passion to help parents, carers, allied-health professionals and educators to understand and make the most of the life-changing, inclusive mainstream technologies that are currently available.

ATQ