Austin Grace has been blind since birth. I actually met him while working in my computer store in Florida several years back. He was on a swing with his laptop, and the laptop decided to explore the rules of gravity on its own. He pretty much destroyed his screen, and wanted us to replace it. We recommended that instead of replacing it, just remove it and save a couple hundred bucks. After all, he didn’t really need it. We got to talking and I found he was quite amazing at using a computer using an audible system called Jaws. Eventually, we took him in as an intern and Austin helped hundreds of computer users with a variety of problems.
Several years passed, and my wife and I were at an Orlando Magic game. If you follow the Magic, you know it’s not a great year here in Orlando. No worries – we’re rebuilding. Again. I happened to be looking at the scoreboard and noticed a tweet from Austin on the screen. I tweeted back, asking him if he was there. He was home, faithfully following along on ESPN 580 radio as he had done for the past ten years. He used to listen to the games with his grandfather, who passed away a short while ago. But Austin keeps the traditional alive.
Austin had been to two or three Magic games. It’s difficult when you’re blind — the noise is so loud, and a stadium is very difficult to navigate. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to get Austin on the actual floor, with a kind of behind the scenes thing? And even better — if he could actually meet his ESPN broadcasting buddies in person? That would be a dream come true!
I went to work researching how to make this happen. I searched a few websites and made a few phone calls, but ran into some dead ends. My business beckoned, and my voice talent has become quite popular here on Fiverr lately, so I didn’t have the time required to chase down the dream. I remembered seeing a note from a Fiverr seller named Iris (SIRI spelled backwards, get it?). She offered personal assistant services here: https://www.fiverr.com/inceku/be-your-virtual-assistant-for-the-day, so I thought that would be perfect! I sicked my personal assistant on the Magic.
Within a few days, Iris had created some magic. She texted me a man’s phone number with instructions that he was waiting for my call. I called immediately, and he already had begun setting the logistics in place for Austin’s dream visit to the Amway Center. Two days later, Austin was high-fiving his favorite NBA players who, I must admit, was surprised to find they are insanely tall. I had never been on the floor either, which was a huge thrill.
Our guy at the Amway didn’t disappoint with the radio part, either. At about halftime, he texted me and had us meet him by a secret elevator. We were whisked to the secret broadcast booth, where Austin gushed with pride as the broadcasters already knew his name from the several positive and supportive Tweets he had sent over the years.
I couldn’t have made Austin’s dream come true without that gig. Honestly, it was the coolest thing I have ever seen. I have to admit, I even teared up a bit. THANK YOU Iris, and thank you Fiverr. This thing rocks.