Announcing the Aira Employment Program

Brittany Carambio
Feb 20, 2018 · 3 min read

Groundbreaking Initiative to Provide Aira Free of Charge to Support Job Search from “Application to Interview”

Today, most estimates suggest that the unemployment rate in the blind community is as much as 70%. To address this gap and assist job seekers who are blind or low vision currently seeking employment, Aira, the world’s fastest-growing assistive technology service, is announcing a new initiative to provide free service through the Aira Employment Program.

Aira, called a “godsend” by the New York Times, uses smart glasses equipped with a camera that streams live video to a remote, human agent. Using the video stream, GPS, and web data, agents offer live, on-demand assistance to people who are blind or visually impaired. Today, people use Aira to a huge variety of tasks, including reading, shopping, social interactions, navigation, home management, experiencing art, travel, taking in sporting events as well as employment assistance.

Starting on Tuesday, February 20, Aira is offering free service for job-seekers as they navigate employment sites, fill out applications, build resumes, and travel to and from meetings with prospective employers. Through the Aira Employment Program, the first 100 Aira Explorers to secure job interviews will have their ride covered via our partnership with Lyft.

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A woman in red pants walks outside of a city building with a black guide dog. She is wearing Aira glasses. On the top left is an Aira logo. Text says: “Taking 70% to under 7% together.”

There is a great workforce available for hire right now,” says Suman Kanuganti, Aira’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Equal access to information at workplace is a human right. By expanding access to Aira during the job search, and working with innovative companies like Lyft to ensure that people have safe, reliable transportation, we can help people through this process more independently. It truly has the potential to transform lives — pushing the 70 percent unemployment rate down to less than seven percent.”

The leaders of the National Federation of the Blind, the oldest nationwide organization of blind Americans, the American Council of the Blind, which is at the forefront of the creation of policies, and the American Foundation for the Blind, which advances understanding of blindness using research and data, as well as have all voiced support for the Aira Employment Program.

“The National Federation of the Blind dedicates significant effort to reducing or eliminating barriers to the employment of blind Americans, since employment is essential for the blind to live the lives we want,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We believe that Aira’s service can enhance the ability of blind people to prepare, search, and apply for employment. We are therefore pleased that Aira is making this service available and delighted to continue our partnership by connecting blind job seekers to this resource.”

“The American Council of the Blind applauds Aira’s efforts to advance employment by addressing the critical barriers of access to visual information and transportation. As a champion of policies and programs designed to foster employment, we welcome Aira’s contribution to level the playing field for job seekers who are blind or visually impaired,” said Eric Bridges, Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind.

Kirk Adams, CEO and President of the American Foundation for the Blind said: “Expanding employment opportunities for people who are blind or low vision is one of AFB’s central goals. through our series of employment summits we convene stakeholders, employers, vocational rehabilitation, nonprofits, and the blind this community to create pathways to competitive, integrated, mainstream employment. We are so excited to see technology companies like Aira enhancing the job search experience, and work to drastically reduce the unemployment rate among people who are blind and low vision.”

Michael uses Aira at work to identify his boss, Kelly.

For media inquiries or to learn more about joining the Aira Employment Program, contact Kevin Phelan, Vice President, Aira. Website: | 617.515.8011


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