Posted by DisabilityScoop

by Michelle Diament | December 10, 2019


A major cruise operator is training its staff, offering up tools and taking other steps to welcome people with disabilities.

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 autism, Down syndrome and other special needs.

In addition, Carnival ships with the certification will offer sensory bags that can been checked out, which include noise-cancelling 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 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.

Vicky Rey, vice president of guest care and communications at Carnival, said the company shares a “heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity” with KultureCity.

“Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board,” Rey said.