Individuals living with disabilities often require more time to accomplish certain tasks that many of us take for granted. A physical or mental disability can make it difficult to comprehend directions, stand for long periods of time and get dressed. Today, however, these types of skills are requirements for anyone wishing to board a plane.
The Transportation Security Administration is the federal agency tasked with training and hiring airport security personnel. Since September 2001, TSA operates under much stricter safety guidelines which often require passengers to stand in long security lines, remove articles of clothing and abide by posted regulations.
While many members of the public regard TSA requirements as being bothersome, such requirements are often especially difficult for disabled individuals. A video recently surfaced in which TSA officers are seen telling a three-year-old wheelchair bound child that they need to pat her down. The video, which depicts the scared little girl crying, went viral and resulted in the TSA establishing new policies related to airport screening practices for individuals with disabilities.
In a recent announcement, TSA officials introduced the induction of “passenger screening specialists” to assist in the security screening of disabled individuals. TSA officers employed as passenger screening specialists will undergo special training related to addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities.
TSA officials also publicly apologized for how TSA agents handled the security screening involving the disabled 3-year-old. Hopefully, the addition of passenger screening specialists will help ensure that the rights of passengers with special needs are protected and respected.
Our law firm helps protect the rights of individuals living with disabilities. We primarily deal with helping disabled individuals secure social security disability benefits. Our attorneys are experienced in handling application and appeal matters related to SSDI and SSI benefits.
Source: Disability Scoop, “TSA Offers Extra Help For Travelers With Special Needs,” Shaun Heasley, March 5, 2013