We believe that everyone has a right to access the power of mainstream technology to participate in society; learning, working, creating and living an independent, fulfilling life.

A middle-aged man wearing glasses stands and smiles off-camera. Next to him a young man with faded red and blue hair, seated in a wheelchair, smiles to camera.

Team

We provide product testing and development support with emphasis on switch users. We are developing online training and support for Apple Switch Control users and those who assist them. We provide advocacy, helping people and organisations to identify barriers and find solutions at home and in the workplace. We encourage and help people to live to the full potential of their abilities.
The young man is seated in a wheelchair at a work desk while the grinning middle-aged man, photobombs from a wall behind him.

Father-and-son team, Garry and Christopher use humour and raw honesty to present the very human story of their journey with cerebral palsy and describe and demonstrate how mainstream technology has changed their lives. Using videos and live demonstrations, Christopher will show how he runs a business; produces, shoots and edits video; communicates with his global network of friends and colleagues; and automates his home for independent living.

Garry will share his experience and insights gained as Christopher’s dad and carer. Their story gives an authentic, forward-looking perspective of ability, accessibility and inclusion.

Ample time can be allowed for questions, participation and discussion with a view to developing further collaboration and training. A presentation kit is available on request for interactive demonstrations.

Mentions

  1. Libby Calloway, AATC18 Organiser — “Our colleagues were so excited by the developments and opportunities you presented. ARATA feels very fortunate to have your contribution at AATC 2018.”
  2. Dr Phoebe Slape, Rehabilitation Consultant — “It was an engaging and educating presentation, by a dynamic father & son duo. It was very inspiring. I had no idea the capabilities of smart phone technology that already exists. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learnt with colleagues & clients.”
  3. IMDA Singapore Tweet — “An inspiring, funny and heartfelt talk at E2Connect 2018 by @iAmMaccing (& father @garry_hills) on how using Assistive Technology -including his iPhone- helps him to run a video editing business and be independent.”

Christopher Hills

"I work and play on the same level as everyone else. My disability is being pushed to the sidelines."

Christopher is a video editor, accessibility consultant and owner of HandsOptional, living with cerebral palsy. Prior to starting his business, he studied Video Production with RMIT University, received a High Distinction, and became Apple certified in Final Cut Pro X.

As well as his work as an editor, Christopher is an Accessibility Ambassador and member of the Apple Consultants Network. He has produced a number of videos for his YouTube Channel on how inclusive technology has impacted his life; and is a public speaker, presenting at various national and international conferences. He has positioned his business at the intersection between technology, creative arts and disability.

The young man smiles to camera from his wheelchair. A red switch and a green switch are mounted behind his head on his headrest. In the background is his edit suite, displaying video vector-scopes.

In a recent media interview with the ABC, Christopher said “…chances are good that the laptop sitting in front of you, or the phone that is in your pocket, has been designed so that you can use it, even if you can't see it, hear it, speak to it, or touch it. That means I work and play on the same level as everyone else. My disability is being pushed to the sidelines.”
Christopher enjoys all things technology related, flying flight simulators, and the Marvel Universe.

Garry Hills

"Even if the tech we have today is all we ever have, even now, it would be enough for Christopher to live a fulfilling life without me.”

Garry has extensive experience in public speaking on a wide-range of platforms.
Since 2003, Garry has been Primary Carer for his son, Christopher, who is quadriplegic with CP. Garry’s years as a carer, home-schooler and parent have been life-shaping. He has dedicated himself to developing the skills and attitudes needed when caring for a person with profound physical disabilities. He has a long acquaintance with assistive and inclusive technologies, especially switch access; and has become an ardent advocate for Switch Control, Apple’s Accessibility feature, built into all Macs and iOS devices.

The middle-aged man with glasses, stands on a stage, addressing an audience.

Speaking as a parent, he says, “I don’t know what the future holds - robotics, AI, self-driving cars, thought-control, medical advances; but I’ll tell you this…even if all advances in technology stopped today. If the tech we have today is all we ever have, even now, it would be enough for Christopher to live a fulfilling life without me.”
Garry is an Accessibility Ambassador and an Accessibility Consultant, part of the Apple Consultants Network. He is passionate about helping parents, carers, support workers, educators and those with disabilities.