An incredible video footage of a boy writing an exam with a pen gripped in his teeth is making the news.
Alex McKenzie is an aspiring sports reporter, who is suffering from arthrogryposis. In this disease, the person is left with no movement in his limbs. The entire joints in the body are fixed and the person is unable to bend or flex.
Alex fears that he would not be able to learn shorthand- the art of quick note taking. It is considered to be a significant skill in the field of reporting.
Besides all the difficulties that the boy faced, he decided to pursue his glittering career. He is the final year student of the Nottingham Trent University.
The 23-year-old first learned to hold a pen in his mouth at primary school, by gripping it with his molars. With time he has started writing 60 words per minute.
Mr McKenzie, who is registered disabled, said: 'My tutors said they have never seen anyone do shorthand this way before. When we first began learning shorthand, I genuinely didn’t believe I would pass any of the speeds. To now have the 60 words per minute certificate is great and I felt relieved when I found out.'
He added: 'I learned this technique at a very young age so I can't actually remember the time it was suggested to me to try to write this way. It’s just something I’ve always remembered doing and it feels natural to me.'
Mr McKenzie knew how important the shorthand exams were for him. It is important for recording quick and accurate interviews, breaking news and council proceedings.
Mr. McKenzie is now focusing on taking his 80 words per minute shorthand exam. He said: 'I hope this inspires other people to see that they can achieve anything they want to and that they shouldn’t let anything hold them back. 'Everyone at NTU have been really supportive and it has meant that I can make the most of my university experience and I know there is help available if I need it.'
The director of the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism at NTU, praised Mr McKenzie's dedication to his career. She said, “Journalism is a profession that draws on a wide range of different people to reflect the society we live in. Alex has proved that with support and encouragement, it’s a profession that’s open to everyone who has determination and is willing to work hard.”
'We are very proud of his achievement and sure he will go on to have a great career in journalism.'