Disabled Girl VS TSA, My Thoughts

As a person living with cerebral palsy, I naturally see myself as an advocate for others living with it and others with various special/adaptive needs. Often times this means that a vast majority of my time is spent empowering others to live the fullest and richest lives possible.

On the other hand, being an advocate also means that I speak out against injustice. So when the story of a 19-year-old disabled girl being tackled by the TSA started making waves, my anger arose quickly (link here:), this young woman was traveling with her mother and had just finished her last treatment for a brain tumor.  On top of undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, she was also said to be partially blind and deaf.

Now, though I have never had to go through treatment for any sort of tumor, by the grace of God. I would assume that this woman was wiped out from treatment and simply wanted to go home. If I’m wrong please correct me. But as the story plays out, the mother and daughter had made this same trip numerous times before. And never did they experience any difficulty. This time around, however, it was a different story, the young woman apparently set off a metal detector and was also confused by a search that was being conducted by TSA agents.

The mother tried to explain to TSA agents of her daughter’s conditions, it appeared that they simply had little regard for what the mother was trying to communicate to them, so when they daughter apparently tried “runny away” TSA guards tackled the young woman to the ground, as a result the young woman hit her head on the ground causing her head to split open.

Others have commented that the picture of the accident  is worse than it seems, that people like myself are blowing things out of context. The fact is the only response that TSA has at the moment, is that people with various needs can call ahead of time. The only  problem is that her mother stated that she did inform TSA, she even informed agents as things began to get a bit chaotic.

In my opinion, this whole situation could have been avoided, if TSA actually took into consideration what the mother was trying to communicate about her daughter’s needs. If they were still unclear of how to handle the situation, they could have easily made contact with a supervisor to gain further clarity… Instead, this tragedy had to happen. What upset me the most, is as a physically challenged person and someone who has flown a good amount, I have never had any problems with the TSA, they have always been professional and as kind as they can be.

I cannot even think of another time in history where something of this nature happened before. I believe that the biggest lessons that can be gleaned from this situation is communication. In that even if the mother didn’t inform TSA ahead of time and simply told them at the gate, something still could have been done that would have allowed for things to be handled in a sensitive manner.

This is in my opinion uncalled for regardless of what angle one chooses to spin it on. There must be firm consequences.












People Skills-Where Have You Gone?

Holy dang,

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have started my second semester of my Junior year of college. Things have started off well, I just have a lot on my plate, but I’m not going to use that as a excuse. I’m hoping to make the deans list again. Any how, something that has weighed heavily on my mind is people skills (or the lack there of). At the heart of who I am, is a lover of people I love getting to know people and have real conversation.

When I was growing up when someone asked you how you were doing, you answered by saying something like “I’m fine thank you and yourself?” You looked people in the eyes when you spoke to them. Seems to me that there are a very small percentage of people that do this anymore

I could be cruising down the walk way of my college campus and greet a person I don’t really know, much like above, I’ll ask them how they are doing and they’ll reply “good thanks… Very rarely do people actually ask the question back, even among some professors.

What is the problem here? I’m sure there are several reasons, but one thing that sticks out to me the most is technology. While technology is good and has its benefits, I strongly believe that it can take away from human interaction. We’d rather look at our cell phone then interact with the person closest to us. We would rather use the internet for a means of cheap “intimacy” then love and adore our significant others or spouses.

another problem is our listening skills, I’ve wrote about this before. But I strongly believe that our listening skills are largely due to our people skill decline. Some of us would rather have an answer for every question, or solution to every problem rather then actual listen.

Do you sense a need to improve in interacting with others?