Aira Stands With Paralympian Rebecca Meyers
July 22nd, 2021
Aira’s mission is to provide a service that bridges technology and humanity to provide blind and low vision people with access to visual information. We do this because we believe everyone should be able to define their own needs and requirements, and that access to visual information is a civil right.
It is from this place that we strongly object to the USOC’s prohibition of personal care assistance for Paralympian Rebecca Meyers. Ms. Meyers has proven herself to be a gifted athlete. She has been previously able to compete at an international level because she has been able to define what type of assistance she wants to maintain her independence. The decision to have only one PCA for the entire Paralympic Swim Team puts Ms. Meyers and others back into a position of dependency.
We strongly urge the USOC moving forward to appropriately plan for all of the access needs of Paralympic athletes, including personal care services, technology and more, as defined by the athletes themselves.
We recognize the global pandemic has changed many things about such large-scale international events as the Olympics and Paralympics. That said, pandemic restrictions have been a fact of life in many situations and we have seen first-hand how people have adapted to these restrictions with effective support tools. We’ve also seen organizations put true effort and innovative skill into solving what were previously seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Aira stands with Rebecca Meyers and all Paralympic athletes who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of Olympic Gold. We commend Ms. Meyers for her leadership and strength, and for reminding us of the Paralympics vision – to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world. We look forward to the USOC’s swift response with both short and long-term action items.