Image shows woman with Aira app camera showing the scene around her.
Accessibility & Technology

Aira is Remote Visual Assistance

Jan 27, 2022

Aira is Remote Visual Assistance

Living with vision loss has a way of compelling us to become better problem solvers. We learn to develop compensatory strategies for getting things done on a daily basis. And we all know there are moments when the technology, the magnifiers and the light, just won’t suffice, what we could really use is another pair of eyes. This is when you would consider calling upon a family member, a colleague, or a friend, but you’d prefer not to disturb anyone. 

The visual interpreting service, Aira (pronounced I-ra) is a possible solution to that problem, and many more. The name is acronym for Ai Remote Assistance the service connects people with live, specially trained agents for help reading, navigating, identifying or describing. The connection icon a video call made on a smartphone app, currently available in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. You’re not bothering them, they want you to call, it’s what they do. They offer another pair of eyes, exactly when you need them.

Home screen of Aira app.
Home screen of Aira app.

The App

Access to Aira’s free services requires an app.  Create an account and sign in as a Guest. The app will tell you what Aira Access Locations are in your vicinity. In Access Locations, which include Starbucks, Target, Bank of America, Walgreens, AT&T, 50+ airports and transit systems, like all of Boston’s MBTA railroad, subway and bus stops. Recently Aira announced the entire state of Connecticut  the service is paid for by the location and you enjoy guest access for free. If you already have an Aira account, you’re good to go, just make sure you have the latest version of the app.

Monthly Subscription

Upgrade to a monthly plan, starting at $29 for 30 minutes, to $199 for 300 minutes. There are no contracts and plans can be increased as needed. Service can be upgraded in the app or with a free call to an agent. Paying members, called ‘Explorers,’ still get the first 5 minutes of every call free. 

You may find great value in a plan that enables you to take a guided stroll through a museum, rediscover your neighborhood restaurants and shops, or get help navigating an airport that is not yet a free access location. The possibilities are endless.

Tell Aira Where You Want Guest Access

To sponsor more free service and expand inclusivity, Aira needs to build their Guest Access Network. The most significant impact comes from businesses with many locations. If you know of a an organization with interest in making Aira’s services available to their customers, send that information to: [email protected].

Website: Aira.io

Phone: 800-835-1934

For comments, questions or feedback, email us, or connect on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!


About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.

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