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SMF Participates in TSA Disability and Multicultural Coalition Engagement Meeting

(Washington, DC - June 20, 2024) Rahat Husain, Executive Director of the Shia Muslim Foundation, attended the "TSA Disability and Multicultural Coalition Engagement" meeting today. The meeting brought together key stakeholders to discuss advancements and challenges in TSA’s technology and procedures, focusing on accessibility, privacy, and security.

Future Technology Development

An speaker from the Innovation Task Force outlined cutting-edge technologies, many of which have been in development for over five years, now ready for pilot testing.

TSA Facial Recognition Technology

Mark Lerro addressed the deployment of facial recognition technology at airport checkpoints, explaining its optional use and the procedures ensuring privacy and accuracy. He emphasized that the technology assists officers but does not replace their judgment, with traveler photos deleted post-verification.

TSA Self-Service Screening Initiatives

Michelle Tomerlin highlighted TSA's self-service screening pilot in Las Vegas and the development of the MicroEgg system. She also mentioned upcoming projects for translation apps to aid in communication for officers and travelers.

DHS S&T Evaluation of Biometric Technologies

Arun Vemuri from DHS S&T discussed the evaluation of biometric technologies, addressing performance concerns across diverse demographics and the development of standardized test methods in collaboration with international bodies.

Ensuring Technologies Work for All

The goal is to develop technologies that are fast, user-friendly, and non-intrusive. Efforts are being made to ensure these technologies accommodate all travelers, including those with disabilities or medical devices.

TSA Cares Program

The TSA Cares program was discussed as a vital resource for travelers with disabilities or medical conditions. Personal stories highlighted the positive impact of the program, emphasizing the need for continued support and enhancements.

Partnerships and Future Improvements

The meeting acknowledged the importance of ongoing partnerships between TSA and advocacy organizations to drive improvements in security screening. Input from represented communities is crucial for the success of these initiatives.

Upcoming TSA Coalition Conference

An announcement was made for the annual TSA coalition conference, scheduled for the week of September 23rd. Stakeholders are invited to test new screening technologies and provide feedback before deployment.


Mr. Husain expressed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts and the comprehensive discussions aimed at improving TSA technologies and procedures. The Shia Muslim Foundation remains committed to advocating for the rights and welfare of all communities, ensuring equitable and efficient security screening processes.

About Shia Muslim Foundation

The Shia Muslim Foundation, founded in 2020, is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the civic rights of American Shia Muslims and advocating on social and political issues. The foundation promotes the rights and welfare of Shia Muslims globally, addressing challenges faced by the community and fostering understanding between Shia and Sunni Muslims.


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