The Passenger Vessel Emergency Alarms Advisory Committee recently convened for the first time. This committee is examining vessel emergency alarm systems and notification procedures in relation to the needs of passengers who are deaf or heard of hearing. The committee’s recommendations will advance the Board’s development of new guidelines for passenger vessels which are to include criteria for emergency alarm systems. The committee’s membership includes representatives from disability organizations, the vessel and cruise ship industry and trade groups, and the National Fire Protection Association, among others.
Meeting on September 19 and 20 in Washington, D.C., the committee reviewed and finalized its operating protocols and received briefings from the Board delineating issues of inquiry. Members representing industry made presentations on current practices for notifying passengers of emergencies aboard various types of vessels, including cruise ships, ferries, excursion vessels, and gaming boats. Members representing advocacy organizations briefed members on the varied population of people with hearing impairments and common methods and technologies for providing communication access. Meeting minutes and other information are available on the committee's homepage.
The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for November 28 and 29 in Washington, D.C. For further information, contact Paul Beatty at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 272-0012 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).