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Aira Technology for Travelers Who Are Blind or Low Vision at Eisenhower Airport

August 21, 2018

Navigating through airports can be challenging for travelers who are blind or vision impaired.  Thanks to a partnership with Wichita-based Envision, Inc., one of the largest employers of people who are blind in the country, Wichita Eisenhower National Airport is pleased to offer subscribers to the Aira vision assistance service free access within the terminal complex. The Airport and Envision will cover the cost of minutes used by AIRA subscribers. The AIRA smartphone app connects people who are blind or low vision to a trained professional agent via smart glasses or cell phone camera. The agent narrates what is in the user’s field of vision, assisting them with such tasks as navigating the terminal, checking-in at airline counters and gates, locating and identifying luggage, reading flight information monitors, dining and shopping, and arranging ground transportation. 

Eisenhower National Airport is one of seventeen airports in the country to offer this service to its customers.  “We are constantly assessing how we can better enhance the airport experience for our users, and this service from Aira is another example of our efforts to go beyond the standard and truly make travel a great experience for everyone who comes through our airport,” said Victor White, Director of Airports.

“Envision is pleased to partner with Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport to offer Aira technology to travelers who are blind or vision impaired,” said Heather Hogan, Senior Vice President of Foundation and Mission Services at Envision. “By doing this, we are giving individuals with visual impairments equal access to important visual information. This is a significant step forward in making Wichita’s public spaces accessible to people of all abilities, and it demonstrates our community’s commitment to inclusivity. We hope this will spur other businesses in Wichita and around the country to follow our lead.”

“With Aira any blind or vision impaired person may travel through Eisenhower Airport freely without the need for sighted airport assistance.” said Michael Hingson, Aira’s Director of Explorer Special Projects. “The beauty of Aira is that Eisenhower Airport need not make special physical modifications and it does not need to divert airport staff from doing their regular jobs in order to escort any blind person in the facility. Aira offers full access to any visual information otherwise unavailable to blind people.”

About Envision:  Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or low vision.  Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation.  Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education, and research.  For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.

About Aira:    Aira’s assistive service blends wearables technology, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. Aira empowers a network of trained, professional agents to remotely assist people who are blind or low vision with virtually any task, every day. All without a sighted assistant nearby. We transform daily life into a liberated and fully independent experience.  We believe a loss of immediate access to visual information is the real challenge of blindness. As technologists and innovators, we are passionate about restoring that access to anyone, anytime wherever they need it. We enable our users to fully Engage, Explore and Experience the world.  For more information or to subscribe to the Aira network, visit www.aira.io.

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