Oregon State University is pleased to announce that we are now an Aira Access Partner with Aira, a company that provides 24-hour-a-day on-demand remote visual interpretation services for the blind and low-vision community. OSU is providing students, staff, faculty, and visitors free access to Aira’s highly trained, remotely located agents, who can provide real-time visual information about the user’s surroundings to help with navigating and wayfinding on all OSU sites and within our buildings. With Aira, those who are blind or visually impaired can instantly access information on campus signs, directories, or other visual-based items.

To use the service, download the free Aira Explorer app for Android or for iOS, create an account, and connect with one of Aira’s live remote agents. The Aira agent will then assist by visually interpreting what is in the camera's view or shared on screen, from describing to reading, from explaining to navigating - just about anything.

OSU recognizes that it can be challenging for those who are blind and low-vision to navigate a world primarily designed for those with vision, especially complex campuses with many buildings and pathways. We continue to strive to make OSU accessible and inclusive to all community members. Partnering with Aira is an additional approach to providing as accessible and inclusive an environment as possible for everyone who engages with OSU sites and facilities.

We encourage all OSU community members who may benefit from this app to download and check it out. We also encourage feedback to be sent to [email protected]. This is especially important as we decide if Aira should be a permanent service available at OSU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, anyone can use Aira for free within the boundaries of OSU Corvallis, OSU-Cascades including the Graduate & Research Center, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the OSU Portland Center, the OSU Food Innovation Center, and all OSU Extension county offices. Aira has created geo-fences, virtual perimeters, for these locations, anyone within these sites is included.

If you are at any OSU location not listed here and would like to be included, please contact us and we will have Aira geo-fence your location.

Yes, anyone affiliated with OSU can also sign-up to use the service free of charge off-campus or off-site. To get access to this Linked Explorer service you will need to contact us with your Aira account information so we can pass that information along to Aira. They will then flag your account for approved use anywhere.

This could be useful in many ways, here are just a few examples where Aira can help off-campus or off-site:

  • A student who lives off-campus and would like to use Aira to help with wayfinding or using mass transit to get home
  • A student who lives off-campus and would like to use Aira to help read an inaccessible document you are trying to read
  • An employee who is at a conference and would like a poster session read aloud

When you are at an OSU site, there is text near the top of the app indicating your location. For example, if you are at OSU Corvallis, the app has text "Oregon State University - Corvallis Offer Applied," if you are at an OSU Extension site, the app has text indicating what county office you are at "OSU Extension - Benton County Office Offer Applied."

If you are not at an OSU site, and are not a Linked Explorer (an account for use anywhere under the OSU contract), there is no text near the top of the app indicating your location. Aira provides five minute free calls to everyone, if you are at an OSU site or connected as an OSU Linked Explorer, there is no limit to your time.

Within the Aira app, in the About You section, you can set a preferred language. Aira offers English, French, and Spanish options.