Aira On-Demand Description Service

Aira is an assistive technology app for iPhone and Android smartphones that connects people who are blind or have low vision with a sighted agent to provide on-demand descriptions of the caller’s surroundings. Similar to a sign language interpreter who makes audible speech accessible to people who are deaf, Aira connects users to a professionally-trained visual interpreter through a video call. The visual interpreter then describes the caller’s surroundings to them in order to assist with tasks that are either impossible or very difficult to do without sighted assistance. Live descriptions include navigating streets and buildings, completing daily and online tasks, and reading printed materials.

The University of Illinois is an Aira access location for blind and low-vision callers, meaning that the service is free to use for students, staff, visitors, and anyone else physically calling from on campus. Just download the app, enter your phone number, and tap the “Call an Aira Agent” button to begin the call.

Additionally, the first five minutes of any call from off-campus is also free. There are other ways to get help free, including the first 30 minutes of a call to help navigate an internet platform that is not screen reader accessible.

For more information:

  • Visit the Aira website.
  • Call the customer support line at 1-800-835-1934 and mention “Campus Network.”

Start enjoying more productivity, independence, and engagement with the visual world today!