Improving Travel and Tourism for Individuals with Vision Loss

February 26th, 2019

An Aira Explorer, wearing Horizon Smart Glasses and holding a white cane, uses Aira for a description at an airport with the baggage claim area in the background.

An Aira Explorer, wearing Horizon Smart Glasses and holding a white cane, uses Aira for a description at an airport with the baggage claim area in the background.

Chicago, IL, February 26, 2019 – The Open Doors Organization (ODO) and Aira have joined forces to further the availability of Aira technology in the travel and tourism industries on a global scale, benefiting individuals with vision loss across the globe. Aira provides its users with personal, on-demand, and professionally-trained sighted guides called Aira agents. Given ODO’s work in often complex environments such as airports, transportation centers, museums, and hotels, a partnership between ODO and Aira will improve the travel experience for the blind and low vision community.

“My favorite use of Aira is when I travel. The independence I have when I eat or shop at an airport, when I find my way around my hotel, and just learning about my surroundings is so exciting.” Says Pat Pound, a frequent Aira user and ODO consultant. “I’m especially excited about the partnership between Aira and ODO because there is no doubt there will be more Aira Access zones, making the technology even more available for all blind customers. I will not only travel more, I’ll travel with joy and freedom.”

While Aira minutes can be purchased by users, some of the most well-known businesses in the world have partnered with Aira so blind and low-vision visitors can use Aira for free in their facilities. Aira agents are available every day and at any time. Aira agents are trained to provide users with visual information for virtually any task including wayfinding, reading signage and printed text, and finding nearby restaurants or stores.

Eric Lipp, Founder and Executive Director of ODO, said “Since ODO was founded in 2000, we’ve seen a number of assistance services and technologies introduced, each with the goal of enhancing independence for those with vision loss. But Aira takes that to a new level and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of something so impactful.”

ODO is an internationally-recognized disability advocacy organization that works with businesses in the travel, tourism, and transportation industries to better their services for travelers with disabilities and older adults.

Aira is a service that connects blind and low-vision people to highly-trained, remotely-located agents. At the touch of a button, Aira delivers instant access to information, enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence.

Visit aira.io/app to download and use the Aira app for free or call 1-800-835-1934 to learn more.