VFO, Owner of JAWS® Screen Reader, First to Implement Aira Access for Products

June 26th, 2018

A person is tapping a button on her phone, while working on her computer.

A person is tapping a button on her phone, while working on her computer.

Today, VFO and Aira announced a new collaboration that will now equip all VFO customers with free use of the Aira service should they need visual access for a VFO product task. This new integration was driven by community data, with the goal of providing access to information for a VFO product, while simultaneously increasing the user’s efficiency and prioritizing the features driven by the data. The integration will also help Chloe, Aira’s AI agent, to learn the gaps in the software powered by its trained human agents.

“We are thrilled to partner with VFO, an organization best-known for developing today’s most widely-used screen reader. Through our newly combined platform, we can now offer more powerful ways to access all information – both physical and digital,” said Greg Stilson, Director of Product Management of Aira. “By using our Aira Access Networks, any VFO customer can tap a button and instantly connect with a highly-trained Aira agent, ready to resolve the task at hand.”

“There has been so much excitement around Aira already, and for our customers to benefit from this partnership and take advantage of assistance like this while on their computer or working with our hardware, is fantastic,” said Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product Management. “ Working with Aira on this project is a great fit, and naturally coincides with our goal of providing excellent support to our customers”.

How do customers use it?

If you are a current Aira Explorer, as well as an owner of a VFO product, some examples of where your minutes will be covered by VFO are:

  •   The screen reader is not speaking, or an update has restricted use of JAWS or Fusion.
  •   An application has become unresponsive and you are unable to use  JAWS or Fusion to rectify the inaccessible situation.

If you are an Aira Explorer with a VFO product task, simply call Aira with your smartphone. The agent can either use your phone or glasses camera to manually assist you with the VFO product task or can alternatively, with your permission, send you a link to remotely control your computer to click on the inaccessible items and rectify the issue.

For more information, please contact Kevin Phelan of Aira at kevin@aira.io

Can guests use VFO Product Access with Aira?

Anyone can download and launch the Aira app to connect with an Aira agent in any Aira Access Location.  Aira Access Locations are places where businesses or organizations offer the Aira service for free to anyone using it on site. Simply visit www.aira.io/app to download the Aira app and sign in as a Guest. To use VFO Product Access, an Aira Guest must be located in an Aira Access Location to connect to Aira agents.

About Aira

Aira is AI + AR for the blind. Aira combines the power of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality with wearable technologies, plus the interaction of its network of trained remote human assistants, to provide the 300 million blind and low vision people around the globe immediate access to information and assistance. Aira’s technology not only greatly enhances independence and mobility for those with vision loss, but also forms the basis of its endeavor to create smart cities that are accessible for all. Learn more at aira.io.

About VFO™

VFO is a leading global accessibility solutions provider. The VFO brands, Freedom Scientific, Optelec, Ai Squared and The Paciello Group, have a long history of developing and providing innovative assistive technology solutions. VFO has offices in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and is available through multi-tier distribution in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Freedom Scientific® and JAWS® are registered trademarks in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Correction: July 26, 2018
An earlier version of this article stated that VFO will cover usage for content that is not read by JAWS. Further clarification will be announced in the future.