October 11, 2021
Visit Mesa Launches Aira, Guided Visual Interpretation Services For Visitors & Residents
New App-Based Resource One of Several Tech Tools to Aid Travelers with Enhanced Mobility in Mesa
As part of Visit Mesa’s on-going mission to ensure Mesa, Ariz. is regarded as one of the nation’s most accessible travel destinations we are launching a partnership with Aira, an on-demand visual interpretation service. The launch of the service will be made available to visitors to Mesa, as well as residents, on Oct. 15, National Blind Americans Equality Day.
Aira is a new accessibility technology that serves people who are blind or have low vision. Prior to arrival, visitors can download the Aira app to their smart phone and get access to a trained Aira agent who can assist with trip planning. While in Mesa’s city limits, visitors can access the agent to guide them throughout public buildings, attractions, restaurants, hotels and more. Customers of Aira are referred to as Explorers and this instant access to visual information at the touch of a button will enhance everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence.
“We are thrilled to welcome Visit Mesa as an Aira Access partner. Their commitment to providing an accessible, independent visitor experience for the blind and low vision community is another example of their mission to provide never-ending inspiration and discovery,” said Troy Otillio, CEO of Aira.
In Mesa, this service is one of several initiatives the destination marketing organization is implementing to ensure all visitors are welcomed and travel to Mesa is enjoyable.
“Visit Mesa is on a journey to becoming a recognized leader in travel accessibility,” said Alison Brooks, director of destination experience and advocacy at Visit Mesa. “We are putting travel inclusion at the forefront of all we are doing in Mesa and this new service shares an important message to this customer base that their needs and requirements to better experience and explore our destination will be supported. We want every visitor, and ultimately resident of Mesa, to explore our city with ease and comfort.”
Aira’s visual interpretation services are currently available in all Starbucks and Target stores nationwide. The free service for Mesa, Arizona will be available starting Friday, Oct. 15. As part of Visit Mesa’s commitment to accessibility, any guest living or visiting Mesa who is blind or has low vision can use the Aira service while located within Mesa city limits. The service outside of Mesa’s borders is complimentary for up to five minutes and then fees apply. Both iOS and Android phones are supported.
“We want residents and visitors alike to know that Mesa is committed to inclusivity and accessibility, and the availability of Aira is another step in the right direction,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “Visit Mesa has become a leader in our region, in putting tools like Aira to work to create greater ease for both guests and residents.”
Visit Mesa helped establish the Mesa Regional Foundation for Accessibility, Diversity & Inclusion to enhance and implement equity, diversity and inclusion for youth and adults within the Mesa community. The Foundation will support programs that expand upon accessibility throughout Mesa with a special emphasis on technology. Additional programs supported by Visit Mesa include the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program and the on-going efforts surrounding Mesa, Arizona’s designation as an Autism Certified City.