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Added 19 March, 2014

Cruises and sports stadiums are becoming autism-friendly

Crowded spaces and loud noises can be very disturbing to people with autism. Come to think of it, they can be unsettling to "neuro-typical" people as well. In any event, as the world becomes more sensitive to minorities of all kinds, we're seeing more products and services specifically catering to them. As the prevalence of autism becomes better known and more actively advocated for, businesses are responding by creating environments that are more acceptable to people who would otherwise avoid them entirely. Recently, some sports stadiums have carved out areas in their stands that are quieter than elsewhere. CitiField, home of the New York Mets baseball team, is one such stadium with a designated section that has no music or cheerleading and lower-volume PA announcements. Now Royal Caribbean cruises is jumping on board, becoming the first cruise line to be certified "autism-friendly." The designation means that ships have specially-trained staff, as well as sensory-related toys, autism-friendly movies, and special dietary offerings. Trend-wise, the service industry is continuing its march toward catering to minorities of all kinds. Why? Customers are requesting it and it's just good business.

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