Colorado is now offering a new digital tool that aims to help those who are blind or have low vision access and navigate state-operated locations and digital services.
The new tool, Aira, provides blind and vision impaired Coloradans access to live visual interpreters at no cost for up to 30 minutes per session when navigating state-operated locations and digital services.
“Creating a Colorado for all means ensuring everyone can access essential services comfortably and independently,” said Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera in a statement. “We’re on a mission at the state to deliver innovative, flexible options so all Coloradans can confidently take advantage of the state’s programs and benefits.”
In a press release, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) explained that Aira is a live, human-to-human service available on-demand. Using the camera on a smartphone or computer, secure live video is streamed to a professionally trained agent who visually interprets what is shared. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
“In the State of Colorado, we are driven every day to make government easy, as laid out in our Digital Government Strategic Plan,” said Anthony Neal-Graves, chief information officer and executive director of OIT. “The Aira service is another step forward in reducing barriers to state services through digital solutions, which brings us closer to creating a truly equitable, inclusive customer experience for all Coloradans.”
Coloradoans will be able to use Aira for up to 30 minutes per session at locations such as Department of Motor Vehicle centers, state parks, colleges, and state workforce centers.
“I have used Aira for six years, both in my personal life and as a state employee,” said Theresa Montano, senior accessibility solutions architect at OIT. “With the help of their agents, I have been able to deliver strategy plans and review project plans and progress charts that once were impossible without the help of a sighted teammate. Knowing Aira is always available has relieved stress in completing my work and has been invaluable since we began working remotely.”