Seattle-Tacoma International Airport announced expanded services recently to make travel more accessible for individuals with disabilities.

“We are working to make Sea-Tac Airport the most accessible airport in the nation,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. “We are making strides to help our passengers safely navigate a loud and crowded airport by improving signage and increasing options for travel to and from the airport. All travelers should feel welcomed and that the airport meets their needs. New initiatives like the sunflower lanyards and improved design make travel more accessible and less stressful for everyone.”

These new services meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Services include:

Sunflower lanyards
Beginning Oct. 28, Sea-Tac will launch a sunflower lanyard program for individuals with hidden disabilities, like autism, PTSD, or hearing loss. A lanyard will communicate to airport personnel that the individual wearing it may need extra help or understanding. Lanyards are available for free at a Port of Seattle customer service desk inside the airport.

Auditory assistance
A piloted hearing loop project aims to improve the clarity of sound for passengers with T-coil hearing aids, cochlear implants, and hearing instruments in areas where there is excessive background noise. Hearing loop systems are available at several locations within the airport, including Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and jetBlue ticketing counters; gates; and baggage claim areas. Passengers can request this service from airline customer service representatives.

Wheelchair accessible taxis
Sea-Tac plans to expand its current wheelchair accessible taxi fleet by five additional vehicles. These taxis drop off on the departures level and depart from the third-floor parking garage. Passengers with limited mobility, or those that use a wheelchair, may request curbside pick-up on the arrivals level by doors 10 and 22.

Curb appeal
The curbs along the departure and arrival areas are being updated to meet current code requirements for accessibility by adding curb cuts or eliminating the curb altogether.

Sea-Tac Airport pathfinder employee. Courtesy Port of Seattle.

Pathfinders
Additional customer experience and volunteer team members have been brought in to support passengers with special needs. These pathfinders can be found around the airport dressed in teal and equipped with tablets for real time translation services for multiple languages, including sign language.

Additionally, improvements have been made to the Sea-Tac Airport smartphone app, accessible dining tables and charging stations have been installed in the central terminal, and an adult changing table has been added to a family restroom in the recently updated north satellite. Additional adult changing tables will be included in future projects, according to the airport.

To learn more about accessibility at the air port, visit Sea-Tac online.