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Disabled woman denied flight sparks complaint against TSA

Living with a disability is something most of us really can't identify with. Most of us have never been confronted with the challenges that disabling conditions thrust on those who suffer from them.

Social Security disability benefits may be available for those who qualify, relieving at least some of the financial burdens associated with dealing with disabilities. But as anyone familiar with the process knows, obtaining the benefits can be a challenge all its own -- one best met with the help of legal counsel.

All that being the case, it only becomes harder to fathom how it can be that some people, especially those in positions of authority, can behave so insensitively when dealing with disabled individuals. 

In just the few years that the Transportation Security Administration has been around, the agency has made it into the news on more than one occasion for employing tactics that raise eyebrows. Another such incident happened not long ago at Los Angeles International Airport involving a wheelchair-bound woman unable to speak because of a stroke.

The woman was reportedly attempting to fly to Phoenix earlier this month. She was being accompanied by a sister who says that the purpose of the trip was to deliver the disabled woman into the care of another sister.

According to the family, a TSA agent refused to let her proceed to her gate and did so rudely. He reportedly did so even after being shown three types of identification because the disabled woman's photo ID was expired.

But what the family says was particularly shocking was that the TSA agent insisted on trying to get the mute woman to speak her name, something she hasn't been able to do since her stroke 10 years ago.

Unable to fly, the family put the woman on an eight-hour trip by bus.

A complaint has been filed with the TSA over the matter. A TSA spokesman acknowledges that the whole situation could have been handled better by the agency, but also by the family. He says the family hopefully now knows what TSA programs are in place so that they don't have trouble in the future.

Source: Opposing Views, "TSA Wouldn't Allow Disabled Woman To Fly, Demanded She Speak (Video)," Michael Allen, April 10, 2014

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