Understanding and Addressing the Outsized Effects of COVID-19 on the Blind and Low Vision Community: How Aira’s Users Are Impacted

April 20th, 2020

AIRA COVID-19 Newsroom Update

While Aira operations during Coronavirus will continue without any planned interruption, we wanted to share how grateful we all are for the Aira Explorer community. We organized this page to keep you informed of the latest happenings surrounding the community during COVID-19.

A few weeks ago, Aira joined major organizations and companies involved in the blindness community to survey the impact of COVID-19. Please know that the results of the survey may help us convey to stakeholders how on-demand access to visual information can support independence and safety during a time of emergency. By gathering this information now, we’ll potentially be able to build new partnerships that will strengthen our ability to serve Explorers in the future. The impacts of COVID-19 pandemic including the fast-moving changes resulting from social distancing, local closures of businesses and schools, and the shift of education and employment to online environments has led to concerns about the impact on individuals who are blind or who have low vision. You can learn more about the initiative here: https://flatteninaccessibility.com/

Aira Survey Results

Between March 17th and the days following 240 individuals invested their time and thoughtfulness in completing this first of its kind survey.   The average time to complete the survey was 30 minutes with many who spent even longer. We also received your feedback on improvements to the survey process itself – we intend to do more surveys so we’ll keep improving.

Top findings

  • Aira Explorers expressed greater concern for contracting COVID-19 than the broader population
  • Tactile tasks increase perceived susceptibility to contracting the virus
  • The majority of employees and students were optimistic about moving to distance learning and remote work.
    • However, embedded in descriptive responses was the concern and fear that their respective institutions would not be able to deliver a fully accessible environment.
  • Download the AIRA COVID Survey Research Report here.

What’s Next?

Discussion and Solutions for emerging Inaccessible experiences resulting from Shelter In Place will be coming soon.

Please contact support@aira.io for any additional information.