Aira is a live, human-to-human professional assistance service that enhances independence by delivering on-demand, skilled, and reliable visual interpreting for just about any task.
What is Aira?
Aira is a service that provides on-demand, visual interpretation services for people who are blind or visually impaired. Simply download the app to your smartphone, press a large button on your screen, and your phone’s camera streams a live video to one of our highly trained Aira Agents – providing instant access to visual information and enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence.
How does Aira work?
The Aira program is a complimentary program provided to all Alabama residents who are blind or visually impaired. The program aims to provide virtual assistance to individuals who are blind or visually impaired by providing access to visual information.
To sign up for this complimentary service, contact the Case Manager for the Blind at your local AIDB Regional Center.
Who are Aira Agents?
Aira Agents are humans, trained and certified by Aira to provide immediate information to our consumers. Aira Agents pass a background check and sign a non-disclosure agreement that requires them to maintain confidentiality about their engagement with each consumer, and go through extensive training on orientation and mobility. Aira Agents are not a replacement for a guide dog or a white cane but rather an additional feed of visual information.
Do I need any special equipment to use the service?
Special equipment is not required. As part of our commitment to accessibility, any passenger who is blind or has low vision can use the Aira service on their smartphone simply by downloading the Aira app. Both iOS and Android phones are supported.
Exactly what do Aira Agents see and know about my surroundings?
Your Aira Agent sees what is in front of and near your phone camera. To get a better view of your surroundings, your Aira Agent may ask you to adjust the camera direction.
What are Aira's hours of operation?
Aira Agents are always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and do not require advanced reservations.
Aira Customer Care team is available at 1-800-835-1934 from 9am to 9pm Eastern Time, 7 days a week.
How are people using the AIRA service?
Aira Agents are trained to assist with navigating your surroundings, reading signs/bulletin boards/handouts, ordering food at a cafeteria, using printers or vending machines, managing interactions on a computer, describing events or sports, and much more.
Examples of services include grocery shopping, medical appointments, scheduling a vaccine, or confirming social distance.
Through visual interpretation, this guided service provides access for community members who are blind or visually impaired to engage, interact and participate in important, daily activities with enhanced independence, on their own terms.
Can I use Aira for social distancing?
Yes. Agents undergo extensive training in providing directions to move through a physical space. The Agent can tell distances via the phone’s camera and relate them to the passenger who is blind or has low vision. Please watch this video to learn more about how Aira Agents work with people who are blind or visually impaired in this regard.
What languages are supported?
English and Spanish are supported. In your Aira profile, you can designate a primary and secondary language preference. If your primary language preference is Spanish, your call will be directed to a Spanish-speaking Aira Agent.