Passengers With Disabilities- the TSA Screening Process

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By John Gobbels, Medjet VP/COO

During some of my recent travels I continued to notice passengers entering the screening checkpoint with medical devices that required their own screening process. I thought it would be educational to see what the TSA has established to assist those persons with disabilities during that process.

It’s important to note that one of the goals of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is to provide the highest level of security and customer service to everyone who passes through their screening checkpoints. The current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve. Although every person and item must be screened before entering each secure boarding area, it is the manner in which the screening is conducted that is most important.

In order to achieve that goal, the TSA has established a program for screening persons with disabilities and their associated equipment, mobility aids and devices. The program covers all categories of disabilities including mobility, hearing, visual, and hidden. As part of that program, the TSA established a coalition of over 70 disability-related groups and organizations to help them understand the concerns of persons with disabilities and medical conditions. These groups have assisted the TSA with integrating the unique needs of persons with disabilities into the screening process.

The TSA’s checkpoint security screening procedures for persons with disabilities and medical conditions have not changed as a result of the current threat situation. All disability-related equipment, aids and devices continue to be allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.

Additionally, the TSA is continuing to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions.
This includes:
•    All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels and aerosols) including petroleum jelly, eye drops and saline solution for medical purposes
•    Liquids including water, juice or liquid nutrition, or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition
•    Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products and transplant organs
•    Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution or other liquids
•    Frozen items are allowed as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen items are partially melted, slushy or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 requirements; however, if the liquid medications are in volumes larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) each, they may not be placed in the quart-size bag and must be declared to the Transportation Security Officer.

Declared liquid medications and other liquids for disabilities and medical conditions must be kept separate from all other property submitted for x-ray screening.
If you have more questions relating to a disability or screening procedure I suggest you contact the TSA Call Center at 1-866-289-9673 or by e-mail at tsa-contactcenter@dhs.gov.

www.tsa.gov

Photo credit: www.whitehouse.gov