Michael O’Leary

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About Michael

After many years as a communications technician with Telstra, Michael completed a degree in Occupational Therapy (with 1st Class Honours) in 1986 at the University of Queensland. That same year, while working with spinal injured patients and clients with cerebral palsy, he became frustrated with the inability to source the exciting range of assistive technologies being developed overseas. He founded Spectronics in 1986 in order to make these emerging technologies available for people in Australia.

Spectronics has now grown to be the largest supplier of inclusive learning technologies in Australia and New Zealand.

Michael regularly presents at conferences in the fields of disability, special education and assistive technologies.

Presentations

Bakti MIND (Malaysian Information Network on Disability – Kuala Lumpur 2006

Assistive Technology Training Workshops for teachers and therapists

Bakti MIND (Malaysian Information Network on Disability – Kuala Lumpur 2005

Keynote Presenter

Assistive Technology Conference – Singapore 2003

Presenter

ATANZ (Assistive Technology Association of New Zealand) – New Zealand 2003

Keynote Presenter (inaugural)

Physical Access to Computers: Where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we going? 2011

Disabilities Studies: Everybody In – Inaugural Conference, University of Otago,
New Zealand

Switches Everywhere 2010

Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference, Gold Coast, Australia

Computer Access Alternatives for People with Disabilities 2008

Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference, Gold Coast, Australia

What’s New in Environmental Controls 2006

Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference, Gold Coast, Australia

Developing a Network of Trainers: The Inclusive Learning Technologies Institute 2005

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA

Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) Conference, Singapore 2004

Guest Presenter

Switch Access to Computers 2000

Spectronics & Zygo Australia Assistive Technology Summits: Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney

Eligibility for Powered Mobility: take a closer look 1998

8th International Conference on Transport and Mobility for Elderly and Disabled People – Perth, Western Australia

Computers for the Disabled 1996

Asia Pacific Regional Symposium on Cerebral Palsy – Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Initiatives

Founder and CEO of Inclusive Learning Technologies Pty Ltd (Trading as Spectronics)

  • Major supplier of Assistive Technologies in Australia, New Zealand & SE Asia
  • Localization of software for Australian and New Zealand content
  • Informative website: www.spectronicsinoz.com
  • Consultancy Services
  • Member of Apple Consultants Network (ACN) consultants.apple.com/au
  • Online Subscriptions: www.spectronicsinoz.com/online
  • 2009 – engaged outside consultants to determine requirements for an Accounting ERP/CRM (Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relations Management) System, and later managed the configuration and implementation of the selected NetSuite cloud-based suite of accounting and CRM tools: www.netsuite.com
  • 2004 – present day: Biennial Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference – Gold Coast, Queensland Australia (now capped at 1200 delegates)
  • 2004 – Inclusive Learning Technologies Institute – 4 day seminar for 32 invited key customers held in Brisbane, Australia
  • 2000 – Spectronics – Zygo Australia Assistive Technology Summits – 3 days in each of Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2000
  • 2000 – advisor to QANTAS and Ansett Airlines to advise the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of procedures for preparing passengers’ electric motor powered wheelchairs for safe storage in baggage compartments
  • 1994 – Advisor to Queensland Health Department for the relatively cost efficient manufacture of a range of postural supporting vinyl upholstered foam-on-ply seats and backrests
  • 1992 – Present: Compiled and maintained Quality Assurance Policy Manual and Procedures Manual according to ISO 9001 Standards, and arranged for internal and external Quality Assurance Audits
  • 1990 – 2004 partnered with Australian manufacturer of a modular, pediatric postural wheelchair for on-site assembly with customized postural modifications
  • 1989 – 2005 partnered with Australian manufacturer (Rollerchair Pty Ltd – later acquired by Invacare) to supply Queensland Health Department with electric motor powered wheelchairs and push chairs built to prescribed user specifications

Founder and Managing Director of Advent Consultancy & Equipment Services Pty Ltd offering private Occupational Therapy Services

  • Occupational Health and Safety inspections and recommendations
  • Injured worker assessments and graduated return-to-work programs
  • Physical impairment assessments and recommendations for equipment needs
  • Intellectual impairment assessments and recommendations for equipment needs
  • Vision impairment assessments and recommendations for equipment needs
  • School visits for the development of Individual Education Programs (IEPs)
  • Home assessments and recommendations for home modifications
  • Ergonomic assessments and recommendations for ergonomic modifications
  • Postural seating assessments and recommendations for postural supports
  • Mobility assessments (walking aids, wheelchairs, motor powered wheelchairs)
  • Disability Driving Assessments and recommendations for vehicle modifications
  • Alternative computer access assessments and recommendations
  • Community functioning assessments
  • Comprehensive Medico Legal reports

Coordinator/Manager of Support and Technology Services at The Queensland Spastic Welfare League, Brisbane, Australia:

  • Determine specifications and call tenders for the installation of a thick wire ethernet computer network and client information database for the storage of greater than 4000 client information records
  • Introduction of multi-disciplinary clinics for the prescription of technical aids and orthotics
  • Design physical storage and a computer database for cataloging and recycling leg calipers
  • Design of a computerized data base for the processing of requests for technical aids to ensure a reasonable and orderly turn-over, as well as progress reports for managing the technical aids and orthotics department (8 staff)
  • Design a training course for Rehabilitation Engineering Technicians in conjunction with the Queensland University of Technology as part of an industrial relations productivity agreement with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)
  • Development of a seating assessment unit for children with cerebral palsy based on designs shared by The Scottish Council for Spastics
  • Determine specifications (including appropriate wheelchair restraints that meet international standards) and call tenders for the modifications of a fleet of buses for transporting cerebral palsy clients with and without wheelchairs
  • Negotiated with the Queensland Education Department for reasonable cost recovery for transporting children with disabilities to and from school
  • Negotiated with the Queensland Health Department for reasonable cost recovery for the manufacture and/or modifications of technical aids provided under the government’s Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme
  • Negotiated with Australian Government officials for the future funding of services to meet the principles and objectives of the Disability Services Act 1986
  • Negotiated with the organization’s stakeholders: clients, parents, clinical and support staff for the transition of services and changes in procedures in order to meet the principles and objectives of the Disability Services Act 1986
  • Attending fund raising events with fund raising staff to highlight the high costs of caring for people with cerebral palsy – how the money raised is spent!
  • Successful submission to the Queensland Gaming Fund and the Paul Newman foundation for funding equipment for a computer accessing clinic ($200,000 per year for five years)

Teaching Experience

  • 2012 – Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference 2012
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2012
  • 2010 – Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference 2010
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2010
  • 2008 – Visiting Lecturer Occupational Therapy Department, University of Queensland
  • 2008 –Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference 2008
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2008
  • 2007 – Volunteer Tutor to Post Graduate Rehabilitation Medical Students, University of Malaya
  • 2006 – Inclusive Learning Technologies Winter School
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2006
  • 2006 – 1 week of workshops on Assistive Technologies for Malaysian Information Network on Disability (MIND)
  • 2005 – “Working Technologically – Enhancing Knowledge, Challenging Practice” two day Training and Development Seminar for Disability Services Support Unit, Education Queensland
  • 2004 – Inclusive Learning Technologies Summer School
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2004
  • 2004 – Guest Lecturer Occupational Therapy Department, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 2004 – Inclusive Learning Technologies Institute – 32 attendees for a 4 day intensive training course
  • 2003 – 2013 Training workshops for textHELP Read & Write Gold (software for people with dyslexia)
  • 2000 – 2013 Installation, setup and training Dragon Naturally Speaking (Voice Recognition Software) for people with disabilities
  • 2000 – Spectronics & Zygo Australia Assistive Technology Summits
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/conference/2000
  • 2000 – 2004 Visiting Lecturer Occupational Therapy Department, James Cook University, Townsville
  • 1999 – assist with the development of Occupational Therapy curriculum at School of Health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University so as to meet the academic requirements for Assistive Technology Certification as defined by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Association of North America (RESNA)
  • 1998 – development of curriculum for training course for rehabilitation technicians at Queensland University of Technology
  • 1998 – Lecture University of Queensland Post Graduate Course Technology & Occupational Therapy Practice
  • 1996 – 20 hours of workshops on assistive computer technology at The Spastic Children’s Association of Penang

Publications

  • Computer Access Alternatives for People with Disabilities (2008)
    Submission to the Digital Education Revolution Task Force, Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Developing a Network of Trainers: The Inclusive Learning Technologies Institute (2005)
    Conference proceedings Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Eligibility for Powered Mobility: take a closer look (1998)
    8th International Conference on Transport and Mobility for Elderly and Disabled People – Perth, Western Australia
  • Evaluation of EMG Feedback for Strengthening Upper Extremity Muscles of Tetraplegic Patients (1985)
    Far East and South East Asia Pacific Spinal Injuries Conference, Brisbane, Australia
  • Evaluation of EMG Feedback for Strengthening Upper Extremity Muscles of Tetraplegic Patients (1985)
    Honors Thesis

Qualifications

  • Commenced Post Graduate Diploma Commercial Computing – Queensland University of Technology (1987)
  • Bachelor Occupational Therapy with First Class Honours – University of Queensland (1986)
  • Communications Technician, specialising in radio and television communications – Post Master General’s Department (1971)

Training

  • 2010 – Quality Assurance Auditor – Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB) by Australia-based Quality Society of Australasia (QSA)
  • 2008 – Essential Selling Skills – Australian Institute of Management
  • 1999 – Microsoft Access Design Database – Southbank Institute of Technical and Further Education
  • 1988 – Post Graduate Diploma, Commercial Computing – Queensland University of Technology

Special Skills / Special Interests:

  • Computer Access Alternatives for people with disabilities
  • Positioning / Seating / Ergonomics for people with disabilities
  • Mobility / Powered Mobility / Alternative Controls / Transport
  • Home Assessments and Modifications for Independent Living
  • Injured Worker Assessments and Rehabilitation
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Intellectual Impairment and Learning Difficulties

Employment

Present: Managing Director, Inclusive Learning Technologies Pty Ltd (Trading as Spectronics) 2004

Managing Director, Advent Consultancy & Equipment Services Pty Ltd (Trading as Spectronics) 1990 – 2004

Manager/Coordinator Support Services/Technology Services, Queensland Spastic Welfare League 1987 – 1990

Sole Proprietor, Spectronics 1986 – 1990

Occupational Therapist, Adult Services, Queensland Spastic Welfare League 1986 – 1987

Occupational Therapist, Childrens Services, Queensland Spastic Welfare League 1985 – 1986

Occupational Therapist, Spinal Injuries Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland 1985

Research Assistant, Occupational Therapy Department University of Queensaland 1984

Technician/Technical Officer, Telecom Australia 1972 – 1983

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • Registered with Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (2012 – current)
  • Australasian Representative to Microsoft Accessibility Advisory Council (2000 – 2004)
  • Assistive Technology Alliance of New Zealand since (2002 – current)
  • Member of Assistive Technology Industry Association USA (2002 – current)
  • Member of Australian Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Association (1995 – current)
  • Registered with Occupational Therapists Board of Queensland (1985 to 2012)
  • Member of Apple Computer Inc – Worldwide Disabilities Solution Group, Cupertino, USA (1993)
  • Member of Australian Computer Society (1989)
  • Member Queensland Spastic Welfare League (1987)
  • Foundation Member Queensland Communication Aids Centre (1985 – 1986)
  • Member of Queensland Society for Crippled Children (1983)
  • Foundation Member of Technical Aids for the Disabled, TAD Queensland (1982)

 

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