Aira Service to Enhance Access for Blind and Low-Vision Travellers
November 19, 2019
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – November 19, 2019 – Travel at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport just got easier for people who are blind or have low vision thanks to a new partnership between Winnipeg Airports Authority and Aira.
Aira is now free to use for all blind and low-vision travellers at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. Through a mobile app or smart glasses, Aira connects users to trained professionals, called Aira Agents, who can see a user’s environment through their mobile camera. This allows agents to describe objects, read signage, provide navigation, take and label photos, and much more.
“Every traveller through our facilities should come anticipating an exceptional customer experience, including those with sight loss or who are partially sighted,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Winnipeg Airports Authority is committed to bringing new technology to the airport to increase accessibility and reduce the barriers travellers sometimes experience. We are pleased that through our partnership with Aira, travel at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is now easier for people who are blind or have low-vision.”
Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will be the second Canadian airport to make this service available. The personalized experience provided through the app allows each user to access visual information on their own schedule as they move through each step of travelling to their destination.
"Having another airport adopt Aira is one more step toward a more inclusive world," says Mike Randall, CEO of Aira. "We often assume that as the world moves toward automation and digital information, it becomes more inclusive. The reality is, it can often be more exclusive. Aira is committed to ensuring everyone can participate equally, and Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is helping make that happen."
“The CNIB Foundation has been working in close consultation with many partners to identify ways to improve the travel experience for passengers with sight loss at Canada’s airports,” says Leonard Furber, Executive Director, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Manitoba. “This announcement is a positive step on the journey to improving airport accessibility for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. We commend the Winnipeg Airport Authority for its ongoing commitment to inclusivity.”
About Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Winnipeg Airports Authority serves the community by leading transportation innovation and growth. As a non-share capital corporation, all net revenue is reinvested back into delivering on our mission of providing excellent airport services and facilities in a fiscally prudent manner. WAA does this through a group of companies that work together toward a common vision.
WAA is proud to be recognized as one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for 2019, the eighth year in a row. Learn more at www.WAA.ca/about
Aira is a technology company dedicated to making lives simpler and more engaging. Based in San Diego, California, we use the latest technologies to connect people who are blind, have low vision, or are simply aging into a digital world, with highly-trained professionals who provide visual information on demand. To learn more about Aira and what we’re doing, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, or visit www.aira.io.
Tyler MacAfee Vice President, Communications and Government Relations Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
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