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Monroe County joins network to make airport more accessible

Jun 11, 2019

County Executive Dinolfo announcing a new partnership with a company that connects blind or low-vision people with a remotely-located agent who can help them with visual information
Credit Alex Crichton

Nina Daut is blind and is accustomed to receiving assistance when she's at the airport.

But a partnership between the Greater Rochester International Airport and the Aira Airport Network could help change that.

Daut can now use a smartphone app from Aira, a company that connects her with a trained professional agent who can provide visual information.

This gives her a new sense of independence when traveling.

"Because if I ask them what am I facing, and which street is behind me, they would tell me," she said.

Nina Daut, a new Aira app user, says it gives her a new sense of independence

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said the county is partnering with Aira to provide that technology to help the blind or low-vision navigate the airport on their own terms and times.

"We want to empower all of the people who are here at the airport, and to enhance and empower independence, mobility, and a positive experience while you're visiting Rochester," she said.

Dinolfo said once a passenger downloads the Aira app and creates an account, they can use the technology free of charge at Rochester's airport and get help with key airport functions like the ticket counter, security lines, and baggage claim.

For Daut, the app has been a worthwhile investment.

"With Aira, it's very independent.  It works as a set of eyes," she said.

County officials said the partnership with Aira is part of its overall plan to create smart environments that are accessible to all.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says the Aira apt will help the blind or visually impaired navigate essential services at Rochester's airport:

Nina Daut said she walked through Rochester's airport for the first time by herself, thanks to the Aira app: