Local News

Blind Traveler Upset By RDU Screening Process

Posted June 5, 2002

— Anyone who has traveled recently knows the security screening process can be extensive.

Like all airports around the country,

Raleigh-Durham International

remains at the highest state of alert.

For one visually impaired traveler, a recent trip through RDU made her feel anything but secure.

Sherrie Craven is legally blind and relies on her walking cane to get around. That was made difficult during a recent outing to RDU.

"It scared me, because this is my lifeline. This is how I get around. If not, I would be like a fish out of water, I can't get around," she said.

Craven said after she put her cane through the X-ray machine, one of the screeners took it away. She said it startled her since she had been through RDU many times without any problems.

"He said 'What is this? This thing collapses,' and I said 'I use this because I'm visually impaired,'" she said.

Craven said when she explained that to the screener, he returned her cane, but the ordeal shook her up.

"I was shocked that someone in our airport security had never seen a white cane," she said.

RDU spokesperson Mindy Hamlin said screeners are trained to assist people with disabilities; however in this post-9/11 time, it is their job to be thorough.

"Security screeners have to err on the side of caution. They will check every item that comes through as they are required to do," Hamlin said.

Anyone with concerns about the airport security screening process can call the Transportation Security Administration at (866) 289-9673.

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