The Honorable John S. Pistole
Transportation Security Administration
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Dear Administrator Pistole:
The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency charged with advising Congress and Executive agencies regarding laws, policies, practices, and procedures affecting people with disabilities. In addition to being a long-time member of TSA's Disability Coalition, NCD would like to offer our assistance to TSA, in a technical advisory capacity, regarding security screenings of passengers with disabilities.
On March 11, 2011, representatives from the TSA Office on Disability Policy and Outreach met with several of NCD's presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Council Members to address concerns of travelers with disabilities, to begin a dialogue about some of the frustrations of passengers with disabilities, and the need for a universal design-based solution for the screening of all passengers. It would be better for all concerned - including TSA, security screeners, and passengers - if security screenings could be conducted with a single, universal design-based technology solution that treats all passengers equally and does not require having people with disabilities singled out. One recommendation is to include in TSA Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Requests for Applications (RFAs) requirements for technology that is universally-designed to address the needs of all passengers, including passengers with disabilities. NCD would be happy to offer our assistance in drafting possible RFP language to this effect. NCD also urges TSA to review the training protocol for Security Officers to ensure that it properly instructs on how to screen people with disabilities while maintaining their civil rights and dignity. We would be more than happy to offer our technical assistance in developing training materials to assist.
We are available to discuss these matters at your earliest convenience.
Thank you for your consideration. Please contact me, or NCD's Executive Director Aaron Bishop, through NCD's offices at 202-272-2004.