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#65 AIRA -

Do You know what AIRA is? I think of it as an advanced form of Be MY Eyes. If you don’t know what the Be My Eyes app is, here’s the link to # 23. http://debvellines.com/blog/yes-i-can/be-my-eyes/ With a phone call needing simple assistance, Be My Eyes is great. They can give the color of a pair of slacks for instance. The volunteers who answer questions are super helpful. You might keep in mind what you are allowing the volunteer to see – personal financial information or information with a social security number on it is off-limits.

Here’s a podcast from the Hadley School of the Blind that explains how Aira really lifts the bar for those who have low vision or are totally blind. It removes the fear of travel.

https://hadley.edu/podcasts/hadley-presents-conversation-experts/conversation-aira

When I went to a Zoom low vision meeting I learned how useful AIRA  is and some of the differences between AIRA and Be My Eyes. The folks that answer calls on AIRA are highly trained agents. That means they are trained to help those with low vision. They know how to describe your environment. They have passed background checks, signed privacy clauses, and undergone 30 days of rigorous training. Protecting your privacy is one of their top priorities.

How do you know when to make an Aira call and when to make a Be My Eyes call? Aira can help with more complicated tasks like hooking up a new speaker system or getting directions and reading directions. The list goes on and on. The agents are available 24 / 7 anywhere and any time.

Let’s say you are in a shopping mall and become disoriented. An Aira agent can give very specific directions to get you where you need to go and if you are ready to go home and need a ride, they can call for one. Aira can help you get to the airport (the service is free in the airport) Aira can help you use public transportation, and navigate city streets like a GPS gives directions.

www.aira.io Here is the website for more information.

Aira has several plans, beginning with a free plan called a guest plan. The introduction plan gives you 30 minutes for $29. A standard plan has 120 minutes for $99. The plan with unlimited minutes is $329 per month. Expensive, but depending on your needs can be worth every penny.

Whether you have a plan or not, Aira access is free in a growing number of places that have partnered with it.

How do I create a free Aira account?

Step 1: Go to https://aira.io/app to download the Aira app to your smartphone.
Step 2: Open the app, enter your mobile number, and select the “Get Started” button.
Step 3: They will send you a text with a temporary, four-digit Aira code. Enter the code in the app to verify your mobile number.
Step 4: You’re now ready to connect with an agent – remember, short calls of up to five minutes are free. (one call per day is free)

You can use Aira glasses or your phone to use Aira. The glasses will show the agent everything in your environment. And this allows you to be hands-free and not have to hold the phone and use the camera.

Readers: Have you tried Aira? What has been your experience? Do you recommend this service? When do you like to use it?


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