Traveling and the TSA

Traveling and the TSA – by Daymon Jenkins, Peer Coordinator for Westcoast Brace and Limb

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I attended a webinar by the Amputee Coalition on June 21, 2016 and would like to share some valuable information from the TSA (Transportation Security Administration. As we all know traveling with a disability can be difficult, stressful, and at times very inconvenient. The webinar provided useful information that may help ease your mind in regards to airport travel, and hopefully this information will make your next security screening less of a hassle. Links and contact information will be provided below.

TSA Cares:

TSA Cares is a helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA Cares agents have received special training to provide callers with specific information about the screening of travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. In addition, you may provide a TSA Cares agent with a flight itinerary before upcoming travel. The agent will notify TSA officials at the airports to allow them to prepare for your screening and assist you through the screening checkpoint. Travelers or their companions may call TSA Cares toll free at 855-787-2227. The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST from Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST on weekends and holidays. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares (Federal Relay 711), or can e-mail We strongly recommend that travelers call TSA Cares no later than 72 hours before travel. And, through, you may download a Notification Card. This card does not exempt you from screening, but it allows you to discreetly notify the TSA Officer of your disability or medical condition.  (Source

TSA Precheck: 

TSA Precheck is something that I found very useful and could be beneficial to those of us traveling with disabilities.  A TSA Precheck membership will allow you to speed through security checkpoints. With TSA Precheck you will not have to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets. The price of this service is $85, and it’s valid for 5 years. Note: this service does not exempt you from undergoing screening by checkpoint using technology or pat-downs.  Also, TSA officers may swab your hands, mobility aids, equipment and other external medical devices to test for explosives using explosives trace detection technology. You can apply for TSA Precheck by filling out the online application and you are required to undergo a background check. This background check must be done in person and by appointment after your online application has been submitted.  You can use this link for more information, application submission, and background check enrollment center locations:

Please take advantage of the information provided even if you are not someone who frequently travels.  Traveling during the holidays can be extremely stressful, and an event all on its own.  If by calling the numbers provided or taking advantage of the Precheck service helps reduce screening time and long waits in security lines,  then by all means take advantage of the services provided by the TSA.  Use the travel tips provided and give yourself peace of mind, it just might make your future airport travel and screening a breeze.

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