Saturday,  December 14, 2019  10:21 pm

YWG launches new app to assist visually-impaired travellers

  • Air
  •   11-21-2019  10:11 am

YWG launches new app to assist visually-impaired travellers
Leonard Furber, executive director, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Manitoba (left) & Paul Shroeder, vice-president, Public Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Aira.

Travel at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport just got easier for visually-impaired passengers, who can now make use of the Aira app when flying from YWG.

Through a mobile phone or smart glasses, the free Aira app connects users to trained ‘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. 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.

“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.”

Paul Shroeder, vice-president, Public Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Aira, uses the app to navigate to a check-in kiosk.


“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.”

Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will be the second Canadian airport to make this service available; in October, Aira made its Canadian debut at Vancouver International Airport.


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