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AutismontheSeas Autism Friendly RCL

 

Autism Friendly Cruise Line Standard & Certification Program - Overview

 

The "Autism Friendly Cruise Line" Program was designed for cruise lines to ensure their pre-cruise and onboard services, venues and amenities are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability community, although the "Autism Friendly Cruise Line Certification Program" has been discontinued.  It has been replaced by the "Autism Friendly Cruise Line Recognition Program".  The elements from the "Certification" Program continue to exist in the "Recognition" Program, which also has additional features and elements.  
See the Autism Friendly Cruise Line Recognition Program

 

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The "Standard"

NOTE:  The "Autism Friendly Cruise Line Certification Program" has been discontinued.  It has been replaced by the "Autism Friendly Cruise Line Recognition Program".  The elements from the "Certification" Program continue to exist in the "Recognition" Program, which also has additional features and elements.

 

The Autism Friendly Standard was designed by the "Autism on the Seas Foundation" (AotSF) in conjunction with the volunteer efforts of the Austism on the Seas (AotS) Advisory Team, as a guideline for cruise lines to ensure their pre-cruise and onboard services, venues and amenities are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability community.  The reasonable accommodations to comply with this Standard are, and can be, customized to each cruise line’s policies, procedures and ships, to ensure sustainability and effectiveness in retaining the scope and intent of the certification.  Certifications to the Standard are awarded by individual ship, although the Bronze Level Certification can be acheived fleet wide by a cruise line at one time.  Depending on the certification level, ships are required to conform to seven areas:

1. Cruise Staff Training (see "Training" below)

2. Youth Program

3. Pre-Vacation Planning & Services

4. Dining/Dietary

5. Disability Accommodations

6. Guest Satisfaction & Feedback

7. Support for “Cruises with Autism on the Seas Staff”

For more details on the Standard, click here

Training

The Autism on the Seas Foundation develops and provides Training modules to the cruise lines.  These training modules are video based (but can also be provided as a manual or automatic slide show to conform with any cruise line required format) and include short quizzes at the end.  Our IT staff works hand in hand with cruise line Human Resources, Training and IT personnel to integrate these training modules into any cruise lines Training Program.

 

The Autism on the Seas Foundation customizes the Training Modules to include each cruise lines terminology and policies so the content is relational and personalized for cruise staff.   With the volunteer assistance from "Autism on the Seas" years of experience in working with cruise lines, their staff, policies and procedures ensure that the training modules are extremely effective.  Our Training modules are uniquely designed and tailored for the cruise industry and cruise industry personnel.

 

Silver Training Level

Youth Staff Trained –  Youth Staff onboard have received basic awareness training in autism and other developmental disabilities, including instruction on basic engagement and communication as well as safety and crisis prevention techniques.

The following cruise lines have completed this level of trianing throughout thier North American departing fleet:

RCL Logo        CelebrityXCruises logo2

 


Gold Training Level

Ship Staff & Youth Staff Advanced Training –  Ship staff (other than Youth Staff) who work directly with guests (such as dining services, sports/recreation, security, and guest relations) have received basic awareness training in addition to customized training relative to their job functions as it pertains to their potential interactions with guests who may have autism or other developmental disabilities.  Ships have also ensured that all the Youth Staff onboard have received advanced training in Silver Level topics and additional topics to aid the staff in working with parents, and providing further supports to youth with disabilities to foster inclusive practices. 

 


Diamond Training Level

Youth Staff Hands on Training - Ships have ensured that a sufficient number of Youth Staff onboard the ship have received hands-on training through the volunteer efforts from the Autism on the Seas trainers during a cruise with guests who have autism and other developmental disabilities.  This hands-on training includes opportunities for observation, feedback, discussion, and reflection, in order to refine the staff members' skills and confidence in working with children who have disabilities and their families.

 

Certification Levels

NOTE:  The "Autism Friendly Cruise Line Certification Program" has been discontinued.  It has been replaced by the "Autism Friendly Cruise Line Recognition Program".  The elements from the "Certification" Program continue to exist in the "Recognition" Program, which also has additional features and elements.   
 

AutismontheSeas Autism Friendly Bronze word only

Accommodated Services and Amenities - Confirms the ship’s readiness to accommodate guests with autism and other developmental disabilities to provide equal access to onboard services and amenities.   Some of the reasonable accommodations include providing sensory related toys, a cruise social story, autism friendly modification to youth activities (where appropriate), autism friendly movies, expedited boarding, modified muster drill, dietary offerings (including GFCF), guest feedback review by the Autism on the Seas Foundation, several modifications to services for groups of guests with special needs, and more.  An entire fleet can achieve Bronze Certification at the same time.


AutismontheSeas Autism Friendly Silver word only
Youth Staff Trained – Ships with Silver Certification have ensured that all Youth Staff onboard have received basic awareness training in autism and other developmental disabilities, including instruction on basic engagement and communication as well as safety and crisis prevention techniques.


AutismontheSeas Autism Friendly Gold word only
Ship Staff & Youth Staff Advanced Training – Gold Certification ensures that ship staff (other than Youth Staff) who work directly with guests (such as dining services, sports/recreation, security, and guest relations) have received basic awareness training in addition to customized training relative to their job functions as it pertains to their potential interactions with guests who may have autism or other developmental disabilities.  Ships with Gold Certification also have ensured that all the Youth Staff onboard have received advanced training in Silver Level topics and additional topics to aid the staff in working with parents, and providing further supports to youth with disabilities to foster inclusive practices. 


AutismontheSeas Autism Friendly Diamond word only
Youth Staff Hands on Training - Ships with Diamond Certification have met the criteria for Gold Certification and have also ensured that a sufficient number of Youth Staff onboard the ship have received hands-on training through the volunteer efforts from the Autism on the Seas trainers during a cruise with guests who have autism and other developmental disabilities.  This hands-on training includes opportunities for observation, feedback, discussion, and reflection, in order to refine the staff members' skills and confidence in working with children who have disabilities and their families.