I am Zane McKenzie

...and I have Cerebral Palsy

“Everything is harder, but nothing is impossible”

Those were the words that I hoped to leave ringing in the ears of the audiences, when I presented to them as a member of the Scope Education Team*.

Now, as Scope’s Customer Engagement Manager, it is a message I’m equally proud to share with people we support.

My name is Zane McKenzie.

Yes, I have cerebral palsy – a physical disability which affects movement, posture and coordination. As do many of Scope’s customers. But in this- Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month- I want to assure everyone, that people with Cerebral Palsy, or indeed any disability, can achieve great things.

The trick to this is being given opportunities….and having the courage and confidence to take them.

What builds the confidence, you may ask? Feeling welcome, supported and empowered is the key!

For over 15 years, I have been a preferred speaker, MC, and educator for a range of functions hosted by various organisations on both small and large scales.

Some time ago, I said that daily, I see the issues faced by people with disabilities, and understand the barriers that exist to creating a more accepting, accessible and welcoming community. I still do!

In 2018, I was promoted by Scope to a management position. But, although I am no longer a Community Educator, I still want to make a positive difference.

I want to ensure that all people and organisations see the person, and people’s abilities first. I want others to be valued as members of their communities, valued as employees as I am in Scope.  My employer makes the adjustments necessary for me to succeed, and I would implore others to do the same.

Yes, I have Cerebral Palsy. I am a husband and a father of three boys. I manage a very capable team of people; all of whom have disabilities and excel at their jobs!

In my personal life, I am a singer, songwriter, and musician. I am a two-time premiership football coach. I was once a finalist in the Young Australian of the year awards.

Cerebral Palsy has not stopped me achieving my goals. Why? Because I am, and have been supported to achieve them.

So, finally, I would be amending my original message to this:

Everything is harder, but nothing is impossible……if you believe in yourself, and others believe in you!”

*Scope Education Team trains organisations, local governments and community groups to create welcoming workplaces which are more accessible for people with a disability. If you would like to conduct a disability awareness training program at your workplace, contact Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre on 03 9843 2000 or circ@scopeaust.org.au