Carnival Cruise Line recently became the first line of its kind to earn a “sensory inclusive” certification!

The nonprofit KultureCity awarded the first certification in October, with all of the line’s South Florida-based ships following. According to a press release, Carnival plans to certify the rest of its fleet by March 2020.

Vicky Rey, Carnival’s vice president of guest care and communications and the company’s ADA Responsibility Officer, said in a press statement, “Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity. Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board.”

Along with comprehensive staff training on sensory and other needs relating to autism, ADHD, PTSD and Down syndrome, Carnival Cruise Line will also equip its certified ships with KultureCity sensory bags—each of which contains a variety of calming items, such as noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys and a visual feeling thermometer.

photo: Kellie Klumb via Unsplash

Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity, said of the collab and certification, “We’re proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones. We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone.”

Carnival didn’t stop at a sensory inclusive certification, either. The cruise line is also the first operator to complete an additional special needs certification program. The program, offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, includes 17 continuing education credits of training in subjects such as autism, Down syndrome, mobility issues and other special needs.

The certification, bags and other upgrades are getting plenty of well-deserved attention. Renowned autism advocate and author Dr. Temple Grandin recently said of Carnival’s latest efforts, “Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise.”

For more information on Carnival’s guest services, visit the cruise line’s website here.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

 

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