As the parent of a child who is both profoundly deaf, and physically challenged, I am pleased to be able to make a comment about modifications necessary on Passenger vessels. Having cruised within the past year, I was made acutely aware of the deficiencies that currently exist on the vessels. Although my child is still young, and completely dependant upon me, I was very observant on this trip.
My biggest concern was in the area of emergency and safety announcements. There must be a system installed so that important announcements can be made either closed captioned on the TV, or more effectively on hand held electronic devices that could vibrate to alert the hearing impaired passenger of a problem. Devices similar to the"beepers" that are commonly received by waiting patrons at a restaurant, could certainly be employed to serve as emergency alert devices. Even more effective would be a text enabled device to provide emergency instructions in real time as they are announced over the sound systems on the ship.
Staff should be made aware of the presence of the disabled or hearing impaired passenger, and in the case of an emergency there should be a "response team" sent immediately to those cabins to aid and assist these clients.
Certainly other adaptations that would be helpful would be captioning of the available television, captioning of movies, and available text communication between the passenger and ship personnel.
Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion on this most important matter.
Janet M. Michael.