PVA encouraged by TSA report for improvements to screening passengers with disabilities

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WASHINGTON (October 17, 2019) — With Paralyzed Veterans of America being the driving force behind the requirement of the Transportation Security Administration’s report, “TSA’s Improvements for Screening of Passengers with Disabilities,” the organization is hopeful that its findings that show updates to TSA’s etiquette and sensitivity training and the incorporation of best practices to address complaints from travelers with disabilities will lead to better experiences with the security screening process.

“TSA revised its initial and recurrent training requirements for those who perform screening functions at airports as a result of Paralyzed Veterans of America and other focus groups’ participation earlier this year. The report also reveals that the focus groups showed a benefit to updating TSA’s Passenger Support Specialist training,” said Carl Blake, PVA’s executive director. “We are pleased TSA used the input of Paralyzed Veterans of America and additional focus groups in order to improve the engagement that travelers with disabilities deserve.”

Additional findings from TSA’s report show airline travelers filed 1,816 disability complaints from October 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019. Of those complaints, 16.2 percent were from travelers who encountered problems while using wheelchairs or scooters.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see individuals experience discrimination or lack of accommodations simply because they use a wheelchair or scooter,” said Blake. “We hope that TSA’s incorporation of best practices into training will prevent these problems in the future.”

PVA has been a champion for the civil rights of air travelers with disabilities. Learn more about PVA’s advocacy efforts on this issue at www.pva.org/travel.