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Breaking Barriers for Blind College Students
What is the Back to School Program?
Aira's Back to School Program grants students and teachers who are blind and low vision with free access to Aira’s technology and services. Enhancing their efficiency to do more, and engage more every day.
By working with an Aira agent, students and teachers who are blind or low vision have access to the same visual information as sighted peers, giving them the tools to manage and complete tasks on their own terms and time.
- Approximately 60% of blind and low-vision students who enter college don't graduate. Aira's Back to School Program is changing that to lower than 6%
- 92+% overall retention for Back to School Students
- 200+ students at colleges and universities nationwide
The Aira Back to School Program
Key Challenges for Students
Lack of Visual Information
23 million blind and low-vision people in the U.S. lack immediate access to visual information
Acclimating to College Life
Outside of academic challenges, students who are blind or have low vision face additional hurdles, such as campus navigation, understanding building layouts, and self-confidence/advocacy.
Accessing Educational Material
Due to ever-changing curriculums and syllabuses, students who are blind or have low vision face inaccessible class material every day.
“The high drop-out rates among blind and low-vision students are not for reasons that are academic, but for reasons that have to do with social challenges, technology, and other barriers related to visual impairment.”
– Dave Power, CEO of Perkins School for the Blind.
Students apply for a spot during annual recruitment periods. Selected applicants download the Aira smartphone app to access the service for free.
Using the app, Back to School Students are now just one tap away from Aira's network of certified agents.
Back to School students use Aira to receive visual information on demand, allowing them to focus on their studies and enhancing their complete campus experience.
Our Students Are Breaking Barriers At Over 200 Universities
What Students Think of Aira
"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."
Middle Tennessee State University
“While at college, Aira has been very handy. It's like having a reader with you at all times. I can see how this is useful outside of school as well. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this program.”
“As students, we’re always busy and one of the things that can get daunting as a blind person is grocery shopping. You’ve got to wait for assistance, and it’s not always reliable and there’s no predictability. You just don’t know when you’re going to get in and out. So I’ve used Aira to buy groceries on the go, and it’s just been revolutionary.”
Portland State University
“I’ve used Aira to find buildings on my college campus, help me with homework, and even navigate the dining hall. Aira has heavily impacted my life. It allows me to live the life I want.”
University of Iowa
Hear from our Students
Why should you be a sponsor
Break the cycle of low graduation and employment rates in the BLV community.
Excellent PR opportunities with support from our expert communications team.
Straightforward to implement with zero maintenance costs or effort.
Are you interested in becoming a sponsor? Let us know by clicking “Donate”.