Whenever we advocate for inclusive and accessible transportation, we seem to focus more on cars and airplanes, while cruise lines seem to be left behind but Carnival Cruise Line and several other cruise line are making sure there is accessibility and inclusion when cruising on waterways.
"All our ships will be certified as sensory inclusive by next spring. We are currently training our staff, offering up tools and taking other steps to welcome people with disabilities," Vicky Rey, vice president of guest care and communications at Carnival said.
Carnival Cruise Line believes guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board, the sensory inclusive ships will feature sensory bags that can be checked out, which include noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys and a visual feeling thermometer, the company said. Participating ships will also air a message designed to promote awareness of sensory issues on in-room televisions.
Carnival Cruise Line says that all of its South Florida-based ships are now certified as “sensory inclusive” and the remainder of its fleet will have the designation by March 2020.
The certification comes from the nonprofit KultureCity and signifies that hundreds of cruise employees who interact with guests have been trained to understand the sensory needs of children and adults with Down syndrome, autism, and any special needs.
"I have been using Carnival Cruise Line for over a decade and I can tell you that I have not felt independent as I feel now, my caregiver does less for me because of the introduction of the sensory devices to the cruise line," Jenn Lauren, a wheelchair user who has hearing impairment said.
Carnival says it’s the first cruise line to receive the “sensory inclusive” certification. The company is also working to complete a similar certification from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.
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