According to Carnival Cruise Lines’ records, the three cruise ships designated to house Hurricane Katrina evacuees have 69 “accessible” cabins between them. They range from “modified” to “fully modified” cabins, with the modified cabins having 30-inch doorways and the fully modified cabins having 32-inch doorways. There are also some unconfirmed reports of other cabins that can accommodate wheelchair-users.
Although it appears that the Feds do have a plan as to who will be housed on these cruise ships, I found no specific mention of PWDs anywhere in the criteria. Cruise ship housing will first be offered to evacuees over 60 years old and then to single-parent families with children under 4, under 8 and under 12 (respectively).
After that it will be offered to two-parent families with children under 4, under 8 and under 12 (respectively). Although it could be assumed that there will be PWDs among these groups (especially the seniors), the criteria doesn’t specifically mention PWDs nor does it make any provision for young (under 60) and single PWDs.
In any case, since there is a dire shortage of accessible housing, it’s imperative that these accessible cabins go to people who are indeed disabled.
Let’s make the most of our accessible resources.
How can you help? Well since this is being paid for with your tax dollars, contact your Senator(s) and Federal Representative and let them know of this need. It only takes a few minutes to send an e-mail or make a phone call. And it could make a world of difference to somebody who needs accessible housing.