Royal Caribbean International has announced that, starting in late October 2015, the line will offer complimentary on-demand access to exclusive content from The Autism Channel onboard most of its ships. The new offering is meant to enhance the line's Autism Friendly program, which is designed to provide inclusive cruise vacation experiences for families living with autism and other developmental disabilities.
The Autism Channel is a streaming television service providing information and resources to families and professionals supporting and improving the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders. Educational and entertainment programming on The Autism Channel ranges from a look inside the daily lives of several families with children on the spectrum, to interviews with medical and legal professionals.
Some of the programs available for viewing are:
- I Am Autistic with Daniel Heinlein – Diagnosed with Asperger's as a teenager, Daniel Heinlein talks about autism with doctors, researchers, and others on the spectrum.
- Dr. Judy – A board-certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician, Dr. Judith Aranson-Ramos, MD talks about early diagnosis and treatment for people on the spectrum.
- Real Look Autism – From executive producer Mary Beth Marsden, an unfiltered look at ASD children and their progress.
- Direct From Autism Service Dogs America – Follow a therapy dog's journey from selection through life as a working dog.
- The Rocket Family Chronicles – A mockumentary about the life and times of Rocket, an on-the-spectrum filmmaker and his unique family.
- Cooking with Jana – Gluten and Casein free cooking with Chef Jana McMahon, featuring easy to make recipes low in allergens.
Complimentary on-demand access to The Autism Channel will be available in all staterooms onboard Quantum, Oasis, Freedom, Voyager and Radiance-class ships on LED flat-panel interactive televisions. Programming will be initially offered in English as well as closed captioned for guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Royal Caribbean International was the first cruise line to become certified Autism Friendly by Autism on the Seas, the leading travel organization catering to vacationers with autism and other developmental disabilities in February 2014. As part of its program, Royal Caribbean has introduced autism friendly services including sensory friendly movies, an autism friendly toy lending program, and social story (downloadable from RoyalCaribbean.com/AutismFriendly), and all youth staff from the cruise line’s award-winning children’s program are provided autism awareness training. The training will be extended to other members of the staff and shipboard crew as part of their job-specific training.