Michael O’Leary

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.


Spectronics Initiatives

in the field of Inclusive Learning Technologies for Australia and New Zealand

  • Travelling Workshops offering professional development in the application of Inclusive Technologies in schools
  • Localisation of activities for Crick Software – Clicker 6 and associated Apps
  • Spectronics On-Line Resources, Blog and Webinars
  • Establishment of a consulting team to partner with education departments and schools for the selection, configuration and implementation of, and training for inclusive learning technology products
  • Localisation of textHELP Read & Gold literacy software with Australian and New Zealand voices, and locally appropriate homophones
  • Localisation of the UK based Widgit Symbols as used in the Widgit picture based communication software and resources
  • Biennial Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference commencing in 2004
  • Assistive Technology Summits in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in 2000
  • Localisation of the US based Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols as used in the Boardmaker suite of software
  • Ongoing liaison with international companies that develop software and assistive technology hardware, advising them on specific requirements for our region


Major 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


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

Keynote Presenter (inaugural)



  • 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)


  • Managing Director –  Inclusive Learning Technologies Pty Ltd trading as Spectronics (1989 – current)
  • Occupational Therapist and Coordinator Technology Services – Queensland Spastic Welfare League (1986-89)
  • Occupational Therapist – Spinal Injuries Unit – Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland (1985 – 86)
  • Communications Technician / Technical Officer – Post Master General’s Department (1967 – 82)


Professional Memberships

  • Registered with Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (2012 – current)
  • Australasian Representative to Microsoft Accessibility Advisory Council (2002-03)
  • Member of Australian Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Association (1995 – current)
  • Registered with Occupational Therapists Board of Queensland (1985 to 2012)



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