RESOLUTION 2011-09

Praising Transportation Safety Administration for Enforcing Service Dog Relief Areas within Airport Security

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-09

SUMMARY:

1. ACB staff is directed to contact the TSA in writing to praise this effort and encourage continued education of airport personnel.

2. Local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates, in collaboration with ACB's national office and GDUI, will work together to provide consultation to individual airports in addition to the aforementioned education as airports design and implement relief areas using the new TSA recommendations.

WHEREAS, people who use guide dogs and other service dogs (hereafter collectively called service dogs) use air travel; and

WHEREAS, air travel often requires connecting from one flight to another, with limited transfer time; and

WHEREAS, most dog relief areas are on the outside of security checkpoints in airports; and

WHEREAS, exiting the secured zone for the sole purpose of relieving a service dog followed by re-entry through a security checkpoint area are often impossible due to the limited time allowed by airline flight schedules; and

WHEREAS, this lack of time leaves handlers with disabilities no choice but to work with a dog forced to wait for many hours for relief, increasing the likelihood of negative consequences for the team; and

WHEREAS, guide dog handlers often are requested to wait for a person to assist them to find a relief area and back through security, adding even more time; and

WHEREAS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently sent notice to all major airports specifically noting the unreasonable hardship posed to service dog handlers if the only option for relieving such dogs exists outside of the secured zone; and

WHEREAS, the notice continued by saying that there is no security obstacle posed by service dog relief areas located within the secured zone; and

WHEREAS, this notice also presented guidelines for the implementation of such relief areas for the purpose of providing necessary and reasonable accommodation for travelers with disabilities who are service dog handlers;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that ACB staff be directed to contact the TSA in writing to praise this effort and encourage continued education of airport personnel; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's national office and Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) shall work with TSA Disability Coalition members in conjunction with local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates to provide this education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates, in collaboration with ACB's national office and GDUI, work together to provide consultation to individual airports in addition to the aforementioned education as airports design and implement relief areas using the new TSA recommendations.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary