Zane McKenzie is a passionate advocate, educator, father of two and avid sports fan – he’s a keen Geelong supporter.

Zane currently works in Scope’s disability education team. He is also someone who lives with Cerebral Palsy and receives support and funding from the NDIS in the trial site in Barwon, Victoria.

We recently asked Zane about how the NDIS has helped him achieve a major goal in his life which was to increase his employment opportunities.

What employment opportunities did you have before the NDIS?
Zane: Most recently, in 2012 I became part of Scope’s Education Team. I was employed casually in this role, to only in the Geelong area, because of transport options. This limited the work available and meant I wasn’t as busy as I’d like.

How, if at all has that changed? And why?
In 2014 I was offered a new position to present disability awareness education in the schools programs, and be responsible for the ongoing administration within the Geelong region. This scope of work is only
possible with a support worker because of equipment and logistics. Because working more often was a goal in my NDIS plan, this was funded and I am now able to work independently and more often.This has had a huge impact on my life; in fact I am now working towards full time employment. I credit this to my new found flexibility and ability to take on more and more work.

What is the biggest thing the NDIS has supported you to achieve?
The NDIS has provided me with support to enable greater employment opportunities as well as much needed home modifications that meant I could get in and out of all parts of my house and play with my kids a lot easier. It’s hard to say which one makes the bigger difference, both are incredibly significant, and neither would have been funded in their entirety by the old system.

What is the biggest difference between your life today compared to before the NDIS?
The increase in my employment opportunities has being fantastic. Overall the NDIS is a terrific initiative, much more geared towards individual requirements. And it is an extremely reassuring thing to know that as my needs and requirements change, the nature and amount of my funding can change with my life. This gives me much more confidence to do the things I want to do. As a result of the NDIS I am a more independent person with a greater sense of possibility and surety in my life.