Aira and the BlindShell Phone
Introducing Aira and the BlindShell Phone
Adding Another Choice to the BlindShell Classic 2
BlindShell is committed to providing phones with the maximum benefit for individuals living with sight loss. As industry leaders, we’re partnering to bring useful tools to people who are blind or have low vision, supporting their autonomy, empowerment and independence. Aira’s mission is to remove barriers and make the world more accessible with visual interpreting. Whatever the reason, whatever the need, we provide access to visual information, anytime, anywhere.
The Aira for BlindShell app provides anyone who prefers the simple and intuitive controls of the BlindShell phone, access to Aira’s visual interpreting. Unlike alternative solutions that require people to compromise with either a tactile keypad and no camera, or a touchscreen keypad with a camera, only BlindShell offers both a tactile keypad and a camera, the latter of which is necessary to access Aira’s visual interpreting service.
You Don’t Have to be a Smartphone to be Smart
The BlindShell Classic 2 accessible cell phone, combines not only a tactile keypad, but also voice control, and a high-volume speaker for flexibility and ease in operation, eliminating the barriers to communication found in smartphones with touchscreen navigation.
The Aira app connects people with vision loss to professionally trained visual interpreters, called Agents, who read documents, assist with navigation, access computers remotely, and provide any other visual information needed to accomplish a task.
Expanding our Portfolios
Today we are excited to announce availability of Aira in the BlindShell App Catalog and the ‘Aira Everywhere’ promotion for anyone new to Aira or new to the BlindShell phone. Whether you are using Aira for the first time on your BlindShell phone, or you are a seasoned Explorer using a BlindShell phone for the first time, 200 credit minutes will be added to your Aira Account to get you started.
The Aira Everywhere promotion credit minutes can be used however you wish; when they are used up, you can continue as an Explorer taking advantage of the daily ‘Five Minutes Free’ and Aira Access offers such as Starbucks, Target (more about Aira Access partners ) or you can become a subscriber and secure additional service minutes in addition to the free offers.
What to Expect with the Early Access Release
With this Early Access release there are some known limitations and suggested workarounds. As of September 3, 2022, we’d like you to be aware of the following:
Using the Back Button
1. The back button will respond differently in the Aira app than in other BlindShell applications. Using the back button will take you out of the Aira app and end your call.
2. Instead, we suggest using the End Call function, otherwise you will not have an opportunity to provide feedback and will have to log into the app again to make another call to an Aira Agent.
Lack of Internet Connectivity
1. When you attempt to use your Aira app on a BlindShell phone and you are not connected to the internet, instead of receiving a ‘no connection, try again’ message, you will be asked to log in again even though you are logged into your Aira account.
2. Once you are connected to the internet, you should be able to make a call without being asked to log in.
High Res Image Capture – to support reading signs and more.
1. The Agent will not be able to read signs while navigating at up to 30+ ft, and cannot read documents with arms length distance with font as small as 6 points. Many snapshots may be necessary in order to read, requiring additional time.
1. Explorers who have a secondary (i.e. multiple) profiles, and who’s Sponsor (employer or university) has policies around what calls can be paid for by the Sponsor (e.g. work-related only) will not have the ability to switch between profiles in-between calls.
The BlindShell Classic 2 is required to use Aira. All references to BlindShell contained herein refer
specifically to the BlindShell Classic 2.
Aira Customer Care is ready to answer your questions, including how to subscribe.
They can be reached daily between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm Pacific time at 1-800-835-1934.