planeAccording to a recent Amputee Coalition news release, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has eliminated the use of CastScope to screen individuals with prosthetic devices. The release notes that amputees will now be screened in the same manner as other travelers, lessening their exposure to radiation and allowing for a more respectful experience.

In the release, the Coalition reports that the imaging technology has been used in selected airports since 2008 and is intended to provide additional screening of individuals with casts or with prosthetic devices. The CastScope is designed to exclusively x-ray the area with a prosthetic device, which can result in as many as 15 or 20 x-rays of one leg, according to the release.

The Coalition notes that in a 2010 survey encompassing 7,300 amputees nationwide, travelers with limb loss reportedly expressed negative feelings regarding the TSA screenings, including embarrassment and a regard for the screenings as problematic, unfair, and inconsistent.

Leslie Pitt Schneider, board member and chair of the Coalition’s Government Relations Committee, articulates the organization’s approval of the TSA’s decision to eliminate the use of this technology in screening individuals with prosthetic devices, “We have been receiving complaints from amputees who travel through the airports using CastScopes on a regular basis, and we believe this action will help to make the screening process less difficult for amputees and air travel less of a barrier,” Pitt Schneider says.

The release indicates that the elimination comes after extended advocacy by the Amputee Coalition and other organizations such as the Wounded Warriors for the past five years, which called for the screening’s elimination as a result of increased exposure to radiation and the reported challenges created by the screening process. Kimberly Walton, TSA’s assistant administrator for Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Travel Engagement, noted in a recent call that the action taken by the TSA was in response to these advocacy efforts of the amputee community and additional individual complaints regarding experiences with CastScope, according to the Coalition.

Pitt Schneider designates TSA’s response as a major milestone of improvement, and adds, “We will continue to work with TSA to make air travel a positive experience for amputees while still respecting TSA’s job to protect our skies”

TSA recommends travelers with disabilities and medical conditions also visit or contact TSA Cares for additional information prior to flying.

Source: Amputee Coalition