Aira Compass: Navigation Part 2 and Event Announcement!

A grey background with a teal triangle on top of it, and the white Aira logo at the top. Text reads "Compass Update."

The journey to improve navigation experiences for explorers and interpreters continues! In conjunction with navigation-focused training initiatives aimed at increasing explorer satisfaction with navigation-related calls, here is navigation part 2: 


To Explorers From Your VI: We work with a wide variety of explorers with different needs and preferences when it comes to communication. Please share openly, allowing us to refine our support in ways that truly matter to you. This may mean asking for more or less details on surroundings and obstacles, clarification on directions, or preferences on clock face or degree-based orientation. When you communicate, we can update notes in your profile for future interpreters you work with. Let us know if you’re having difficulty hearing things from our end and please stay patient as we get clarification on how to best assist you.

To Interpreters from Your Explorer: it’s okay if you aren’t sure about something. Our interactions are based on trust and communication and It’s helpful if you clearly communicate uncertainty. It also builds a sense of problem solving together when you include me or update me on your process, letting me know when you are working with a tool or looking for information. Silence is disconnecting, separating me from the interaction and collaboration of working together. This can be upsetting. We know there are a wide variety of needs and preferences with the explorers you assist. Please make sure to note when I share what works best for me. I might want more or less information on my surroundings or obstacles based on my orientation skills and level of familiarity with my current location.

 Tools and Techniques

To Explorers From Your VI: We utilize several tools when working with you and frequently align live visuals from your camera with map data. This isn’t always immediate and we appreciate your patience, especially when trying to orient you. We utilize profile notes for quick-access information like frequently visited addresses or preferred entry points. These notes are readily visible upon your call. We also utilize long-term document storage for more detailed instructions. It is helpful if you remember where your information is stored for easy retrieval.

To Interpreters from Your Explorer: We know there is a lot to juggle but appreciate when our goals and feedback are top priority in the information you consider. It is helpful when you consider a combination of our profile notes, real-time camera feed, and then use additional resources to cross-reference or verify information.

Both explorers and interpreters are encouraged to engage in teamwork following the explorer’s lead, openly acknowledging uncertainties and committing to finding solutions together. VIsual interpreting and navigating as a blind or low vision person both pose unique challenges. Through adaptability, patience, and clear communication, our collaborative spirit can help us all find success in the challenging task of navigation.

Aira Event: Visual Interpreting at the Kentucky Derby!

Join us for the 150th Kentucky Derby with visual interpreting by Aira! Following our successful streaming of the 2024 solar eclipse, which engaged over 500 listeners, we’re thrilled to continue expanding access for the blind and low vision community.

When: Saturday, May 4th, with Aira coverage from 2:30 pm – 4:15 pm PST

Where: Live on the Aira Explorer app (more/events) and via Zoom (access link to come). The event recording will be posted on our YouTube channel for post-event viewing.

You’ve asked for more event coverage and we’re all ears! We know the importance of experiencing events to their fullest and our team can’t wait to continue bringing visual interpreting to the table.