TSA Says It Will Be More Sensitive to Travelers With Disabilities

Suffering from disabilities is difficult in many different ways. The financial challenges are undeniable, especially when a disabling condition prevents you from working.

That is why the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs exist: to help people meet those challenges.

There are many other challenges as well, of course, besides the financial ones. One of those is difficulties is traveling. Disabled people in Michigan and across the country are affected by this.

Last week, federal officials responsible for airport security acknowledged that they need to do a much better job with helping people with disabilities get through security screenings. The statement came in response to a number of incidents where disabled people received questionable treatment at checkpoints.

In order to prevent such frequent incidents, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it is rolling out a new group of screeners. These screeners have received special training on interacting with people who have disabilities.

On one level, TSA’s motivation for this program could be seen as simply damage control. After all, it’s only been a few weeks since a video went viral showing a badly handled airport screening of a toddler in a wheelchair. The TSA was forced to make a public apology in that incident.

But the problems go far beyond one incident. And so TSA will deploy more than 2,600 personnel with special training to assist people with disabilities.

The training is by no means extremely extensive. It involves four hours of training, developed in collaboration with disability advocacy groups. But this is certainly better than no special training at all.

Source: “TSA Offers Extra Help For Travelers With Special Needs,” disability scoop, Shaun Heasley, 3-5-13

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