(Federal Register January 23, 2007, pages 2833 to 2851)

Sec. 39.57 What is the general requirement for PVOs’ communications with passengers? PVOs must ensure the effective communication to passengers with disabilities of all information provided to passengers, through the use of auxiliary aids where needed.

Sec. 39.85 What services must PVOs provide to passengers with a disability on board a passenger vessel? As a PVO, you must provide services on board the vessel as requested by or on behalf of passengers with a disability, or when offered by PVO personnel and accepted by passengers with a disability, as follows:

  1. Assistance in moving about the vessel, with respect to any spaces that are not readily accessible and usable to the passenger.
  2. If food is provided to passengers on the vessel, assistance in preparation for eating, such as opening packages and identifying food;
  3. Effective communication with passengers who have vision impairments or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, so that these passengers have timely access to information the PVO provides to other passengers (e.g., weather, on-board services, delays).

Sec. 39.89 What requirements apply to on-board safety briefings, information, and drills? As a PVO, you must comply with the following requirements with respect to safety briefings, information, or drills provided to passengers:

  1. You must provide the briefings or other safety-related information through means that effectively communicate their content to persons with vision or hearing impairments. This includes providing written materials in alternative formats that persons with vision impairments can use.
  2. You must not require any passenger with a disability to demonstrate that he or she has listened to, read, or understood the information presented, except to the extent that you impose such a requirement on all passengers. You must not take any action adverse to a qualified individual with a disability on the basis that the person has not “accepted” the briefing.
  3. As a PVO, if you present on-board safety briefings to passengers on video screens, you must ensure that the safety-video presentation is accessible to passengers with impaired hearing (e.g., through use of open captioning or placement of a sign language interpreter in the video).
    1. You may use an equivalent non-video alternative to this requirement only if neither open captioning nor a sign language interpreter inset can be placed in the video presentation without so interfering with it as to render it ineffective or it would not be large enough to be readable.
    2. You may implement the requirements of this section by substituting captioned or interpreted video materials for uncaptioned/uninterpreted video materials as the uncaptioned/uninterpreted materials are replaced in the normal course of the carrier’s operations.
  4. You must provide whatever assistance is necessary to enable passengers with disabilities to participate fully in safety or emergency evacuation drills provided to all passengers.
  5. You must maintain evacuation programs, information, and equipment in locations that passengers can readily access and use.

Sec. 39.93 What mobility aids and other assistive devices may passengers with a disability bring onto a passenger vessel?

  1. As a PVO, you must permit passengers with a disability to bring the following kinds of items onto a passenger vessel, consistent with Coast Guard requirements concerning security, safety, and hazardous materials:
    1. Wheelchairs and other mobility devices, including, but not limited to, manual wheelchairs and battery-powered wheelchairs;
    2. Other mobility aids, such as canes (including those used by persons with impaired vision), crutches, and walkers;
    3. Other assistive devices (e.g., vision-enhancing devices, personal ventilators, portable oxygen concentrators, and respirators that use non-spillable batteries);
    4. Personal oxygen supplies.
  2. You must permit passengers with a disability to use their mobility aids and assistive devices on board the vessel in all locations passengers access.
  3. You are not required to permit passengers with a disability to bring these items into lifeboats or other survival craft, in the context of an emergency evacuation of the vessel.