Aira, A Tool To Enhance Campus Accessibility For Students And Visitors Who Are Blind Or Low Vision

Scheduled at 2:00pm in Meadowbrook II on Friday, November 22.

#29555

Speaker(s)

  • Greg Stilson, Director Of Product Management , Aira

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference

Summary

This session will explain and demonstrate Aira, a tool which provides access to visual information in realtime, for those who have blind or low vision, using an app on a smartphone or a pair of smart glasses. Attendees will see the service in action on existing campuses and learn how powerful and simple it is to implement.

Abstract

Throughout the entire college journey, from campus tour to graduation, access to information for students who are blind and low vision, (BLV), is a significant challenge. Using an app on a smartphone or the custom smart glasses, Aira is a service which connects a person who is BLV with a live trained agent who provides realtime visual description to assist the user with completing any task they like. Whether a student is working with an agent to read inaccessible print content in class, identify graphical information in a lab, navigate around campus construction to get to class, or operate inaccessible dorm appliances, Aira agents turn the visual world into an audio description.

This session will demonstrate the Aira service, discuss the accessibility benefits, share student success and retention metrics on existing campuses, and explain the simple and powerful implementation process to include Aira as an accommodation on campus.

Keypoints

  1. Attendees will be introduced to the Aira service and the accessibility benefits on campus
  2. Research shows that students with Aira as a tool are more likely to stay in school from one year to the next.
  3. Aira also can enhance a campus's inclusivity beyond just the enrolled students

Disability Areas

Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Information Resources, Information Technology, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Greg Stilson

Greg Stilson is Aira’s Director of product management, responsible for the design and maintenance of Aira’s product roadmap. He has been with Aira over a year now, but has been working in the assistive technology space for the last 15 years. Previously he ran the product management team at HumanWare, responsible for the development of such products as the BrailleNote Touch, Victor Reader Trek and Trekker Breeze+, to name a few.

Greg and his family live in Madison WI, working remotely the majority of the time for Aira. When not working, Greg loves playing with his now 3 year old daughter, is a huge sports fan, and enjoys home brewing and wine making. a fun fact is that Greg’s family turned some old farm land in central WI into a vineyard about 25 years ago, and have been making wine ever since.