Anyone who has been through the security lines at an airport -- whether in Newark or elsewhere -- knows that they were likely not designed with much thought for those who live with disabilities. The lines are cramped and snake tightly back and forth. Even certain demands, such as removing shoes, can be difficult for some people. On top of all of that, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is not known for being the most accommodating agency. Fortunately, they are working to change that image.
According to a recent article, the TSA is accepting phone calls prior to flights to assist individuals with any special needs they might have. Given the name TSA Cares, the help line is a way for travelers to ask questions about how their disability, medical condition or unique circumstance might affect their experience in the security line.
To make sure that you get proper assistance, TSA recommends calling the help line at least 72 hours before your flight. With three days' notice, the agency can coordinate with your specific airport if necessary to make sure you have the support you need. By calling early, you can also arrange for a Passenger Support Specialist to guide you through the security process.
Airport security has long been a source of stress for persons with disabilities. Hopefully the TSA Cares program will help make the process less intimidating and more enjoyable.
Source: Disability Scoop, "TSA Says It Can Help Travelers With Special Needs," Dan Tracy, March 17, 2015