So as a general rule I don't bother to enter many competitions that have and 'experience' prize like a cruise or adventure tour. Unfortunately most of the prizes are not designed for people with a disability and I don't want to deal with the disappointment when I get told:
'Oh, I'm sorry, our tour/flight/experience is not set up for people with a disability so please accept this gift card instead.'
There is nothing better for the self esteem when you are constantly put in the too hard basket and all you want is to have the same experience as everyone else when you win a prize. This post is about an experience I had lately that other companies and competitions should pay attention too!
I have been entering a competition on Twitter fairly often over the last 18 months to win a double pass to watch a Fremantle Dockers home game from the Carlton Draught Front Bar and recently I won. I was excited but very wary and kept my expectations under control as I rang the Dockers. As I was giving them my details I informed them of my disability and my worst fears seemed to be confirmed when the person on the other end said 'Oh okay, let me make a note of that and I will pass it on to my supervisor. Someone will contact you within the hour.'
I can't count the number of times that I have received that response and 3-4 hours later had a call from someone to tell me that it is not going to be possible and that they understand my frustration but there is nothing they can do. Imagine my surprise when 20 minutes later I received a phone call from Kellie Black (Events Manager) and Glenn Duffield (Commercial Partnerships Manager) to tell me that they had sorted it all out! I was blown away as they explained how the day would work, they asked me to get to the game around an hour before the bounce and the only area of the bar I would be able to see the game from was down two sets of steps but, if I was comfortable with it, they have organised two strong blokes to help me navigate them. Well you could have knocked me over with a feather! I was amazed and it absolutely made my day to not be treated like I am too much effort.
Well it all went so smoothly, when we got to the bar two big blokes were summoned and I was taken down to a glass walled area with an awesome view of the field. All of the staff were amazing, friendly and treated me like royalty. Kellie and Glenn not only rang to check on me and make sure that it all went smoothly, they also popped in to say g'day and introduce themselves! I don't know how great an impression I made, I was six Pints down by half time, but apart from the result I had a great time and getting out was just as smooth despite my tipsy state!
I really want to say a big thank you to everyone at the Fremantle Dockers who made that great day possible and challenge all other organisations out there to go the extra mile when someone with a disability wins a prize. You really do not appreciate how much it means to us when something this awesome is made possible and we can enjoy it without feeling like we are a hassle.
Resilience, Inspiration and Disability Awareness: https://www.30footdrop.com.au