AIRA ACCESS AT THE BASEBALL GAME WITH Minnesota Twins V.S BOSTON Red Sox FOR THE FIRST TIME
Sept. 4th 2019
This was my first baseball game experience ever. I got to see the Minnesota Twins play against the Boston Red Sox as I am a Minnesota Twins fan surrounded by Red Sox fans. I got to use Aira to assist with visual interpretation as well as an ASL interpreter for those with combined vision and hearing loss. Where a PT interpreter was gone, I had an Aira agent fill in so I wouldn’t miss a beat.
Many years ago while living in Minneapolis MN, I was invited to a Twins game but I declined the offer because I was not ready to surrounded by so many people and I didn’t want to be overwhelmed. I simply needed more time to be open to an experience that great. I was aware of what I’d missed out on. I figured, I’d have another opportunity when I felt more prepared for the massive crowds.
A month ago, I was invited by Deaf Inc in Boston to join 600 people at the Fenway Park to see my team go against the Boston Red Sox and this time, I was more than prepared all around. I gladly purchased my ticket and a Twins T-shirt from Amazon to fit the mood in advance. The group I went with were folks who were Deaf and HOH (hard of hearing) as well as deaf blind which made it feel more inclusive. I went with old friends from the deaf community and spotted two former ASL instructors and we were happy to see one another. I milled around and met new people during the pre-game session in our large booth.
As soon as I was seated with my group and the game started, I opened Aira and got three agents who just happen to be from Minnesota! All three of us throughout the duration of the game were rooting for Minnesota over the Red Sox. While walking with Aira to the Fenway Park from the 57 bus stop, I wore my Twins windbreaker and T-shirt people were playfully shouting “oooh she’s got a Twinkies shirt on!” and I proceeded on my way.
During the moment of extreme hearing difficulty, I was able to use the texting feature in Aira to communicate with the agents through a braille display. I utilized all of my resources to access a game I had high anticipations for, leaving no worries in thought.
In conclusion, I am happy to say I had my first Baseball experience with three amazing Aira agents at the Fenway Park surrounded by the most welcoming deaf and HOH community in Boston. I was prepared with extra chargers to keep my device from draining with extensive use of apps on my phone. I hope everyone has a great experience with Aira and any additional helpful resources. For the record, I grew up in Boston and developed an appreciation for Minnesota because of my everlasting bond with their deaf blind community many years ago.
Casandra standing with another Minnesota Twins fan in the Fenway Park during pregame session. Various people standing around in the background in deep conversation. Both of us smiling in the direction of the camera with our Twins gear on, happy as can be.