Mum of three, Bree Bartlett, took to social media to share her experience at the local trampoline park with her two sons. One of who has cerebral palsy and was quite poorly treated by staff at the centre.
The Melbourne mum took to the Jump Crazy Facebook page to share her horrible experience.
Bree wrote, “To the manager and staff at Jump Crazy,
Today I attended your venue with my 3 children. My daughter was invited there for her school friends birthday party and while we waited for her, I decided to pay for my 2 boys (4 and 7) to have a play there as well.
Bree explained, “My youngest son has Cerebral Palsy and he clumsily attempted to negotiate the 2 flights of stairs to get to your service counter, eager to go and play on the trampolines (he’s only recently developed the strength in his legs to jump off the ground so was extremely excited to use this newly acquired skill).
“When we finally made it to the top of the stairs I proceeded to the counter and paid the $38 entry fee for my two boys to use your play centre. Before walking away from your counter, out of courtesy I informed the service clerk of my sons physical disability and of my intention to join him in the area as his physical care aid. Another lady (presumably the manager) overheard this discussion and replied that she would not permit me to join my son unless I could produce a ‘carers card’.
“I explained to this clearly ignorant woman that I am his mother and full time carer. If simply looking at him wasn’t enough proof that he required an aid to assist him to safely use the equipment I also have a healthcare card in his name, official diagnosis of his condition, disabled parking and equipment aids to further confirm our situation. She continued this humiliating stance, refusing to compromise unless I had a carers card.
“A carers card is a really odd thing to ask for because it is not used for what she was asking. A carers card is a centrelink issued card for families where one member is not working in order to care full time for their disabled family member. It is a financial assistance tool and not for proof of condition or need for care like she was clearly insinuating.
“I am my sons full time carer but also work from home casually to make ends meet. I work at night while my son sleeps so that I am able to give him my full attention through the day. The fact that I feel the need to explain this is completely unjust in itself but this is the result of the shame and exclusion you placed on myself and my family today.
“I felt completely outcasted and irate at the abhorrent disregard of my sons safety requirements. I decided to avoid further humiliation and most importantly before my son could realise the horrible case of discrimination towards him, I asked for my money back and decided take my beautiful boy elsewhere where he would be accepted and respected the way he deserves… but to add salt to the wound you tried to deny me my money which I had literally just given to you and attempted to tell me that I could only have a credit note. That was a joke, right?
“There is not a chance that I will ever set foot in your venue again so I told you to keep your credit note and give me back the cash I gave you! Finally you agreed and gave me my money back… but for only one child!
“Above and beyond this disgusting display of discrimination you then tried to rip me off by giving me only half my money back. I had already started to leave when I realised what you’d done and had to go back again to get the rest of my money. I left feeling humiliated, defeated, shamed and most of all complete sadness for my son.
“Your lack of empathy, understanding and your careless attitude was an absolute disgrace. I hope you’re ashamed of yourselves and I have every intention of taking this further so that no other families in the same or similar situation as mine, are made to feel the way you made us feel today!”
Bree’s post has been shared nearly 800 times and attracted hundreds of horrified comments.
The business shared a response on their Facebook page saying:
“We are very sorry to hear that you have been offended, we can certainly see how you must be feeling in this situation. We can definitely understand why you would need to supervise your child, and our policy does permit free entry for one supervisor if the child holds a Companion Card. This complies with national anti-discrimination legislation, which we are fully supportive of, thus we accept Companion Cards.
“Which is also why have a fully functioning elevator for all those who need it.
“For consistency and fairness for all our customers, however, we cannot allow free entry for all parents as we have a legal obligation to control our number of participants on the jump deck and we have limitations on how many people can participate at one time. WorkSafe requirements imply that anybody who has access to the jump deck is regarded as a participant and thus we are liable for their safety. Hence, the easiest way to control our centre is to allow only paying participants on the jump deck who have been registered on our consent form and have been given a wristband for entry.
“This is also inline with our Child safety policy.
“Therefore, as we accept Companion Cards, we do give one free admission for that person’s supervision, which includes a wristband and still requires the supervisor to register on our consent form. However, if you do not have a Companion Card then it is a requirement for any parents, guardians or supervisors to pay the entry fee and register on our consent form, just as anyone else has to, in order for us to comply with WorkSafe policies and to protect the safety of all other participants on the jump deck.
“All our staff are thoroughly trained on this and they would all know to ask for a Companion Card, not a Carers Card as that is a very different thing. To supervise on the jump deck without owning a Companion Card only requires you to pay entry just as every other parent has to, we are not stopping you from supervising just because you do not have a card. We have to comply with the legislations and policies that are placed upon us by ensuring that every participant on the jump deck is counted for and registered, so that we do not exceed our limit of participants allowed.
“We are very sorry that you feel discriminated against, that is certainly not our intention as our policies do comply with all legislation and anti-discrimination laws. We hope that this reply will resolve your questions and frustrations from your experience, so that you can understand the policies we have set in place to comply with all our legal requirements.”
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