Aira’s Back To School Program Returns For Class Of 2018-2019
August 2nd, 2018
Back to School Program
As students across the country brace themselves for a new academic year, Aira is excited to announce that its Back to School program, powered by the AT&T Network, will be returning for the 2018-2019 year.
To kick things off on the right note, Aira and AT&T hosted a launch event at AT&T’s headquarters in Dallas on August 2nd, 2018. In attendance was Suman Kanuganti, Aira CEO, Chris Penrose, President of Internet of Things at AT&T, other notable members of the Education and Accessibility communities, as well as students who took part in last year’s Back to School program.
The launch event was geared toward raising awareness for not just the program, but also the need for more initiatives like it, and to celebrate the positive outcomes the program fosters.
Suman Kanuganti, a self-described lifelong student, says, “As pioneers in technology for the Blindness Community, we have a responsibility to help reverse the low college graduation rate among those who are blind or have low vision. After all, education raises all of us up, ensuring we can all enjoy prosperous careers that help grow the economy.”
Aira identified a need for its services on campuses and in classrooms after discovering a gap in accessible material in education. However, students have enough pressure on their budgets without the additional strains of subscription costs. So Aira collaborated with AT&T, the National Federation of the Blind, and several educational institutions across the country (including Perkins School for the Blind, University of California San Diego, and Princeton University), to create the Back to School program, as well as providing free Aira Access on campuses.
The program ensures that students and teachers who are blind or have low vision are able to receive free access to Aira’s technology and services during the school year, giving them enhanced efficiency (and hence added confidence) to realize their academic goals. One hundred students who are blind or have low vision benefitted from last year’s Back to School program, using Aira across more than 85 campuses across the nation.
Quinn H., a student Explorer, says, “The Aira Back to School program has allowed me to explore my environment in ways I never imagined. I attend one of the largest campuses in Tennessee and Aira has given me the opportunity to get around campus and find classrooms faster than I ever could. I also use Aira in my classes during presentations and mock counseling sessions. Aira’s innovative technology is changing my day-to-day personal and academic experiences.”
If you’re a student or a teacher that is blind or has low vision, and you’re interested in learning more about this initiative, visit aira.io/back-to-school.
If you’re interested in supporting students in the Back to School program, visit https://aira.io/backtoschool/donate.
If you’d like to join the Aira Access Campus Network, visit aira.io/access.
Watch this video to hear how the Back to School program is impacting students who or are blind or have low vision: