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Colorado Parks and Wildlife Introduces Mobile App to Help Visually Impaired Recreationists

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Introduces Mobile App to Help Visually Impaired Recreationists

In a move aimed at furthering Governor Jared Polis’ goal of “One Colorado for All,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced the expansion of the digital tool Aira for use within the state park system.

Aira helps Coloradans and visitors who are blind or have low vision access state services in real time. The Aira Explorer mobile app provides access to visual interpreters when navigating state-operated digital locations and services, including state parks.

Among other uses, the app can be used to help blind visitors navigate trails, experience interpretive signage, and share their visit with friends and family.



Through the Governor’s Office of Information Technology’s Technology Accessibility Program, Aira offers free 30-minute sessions, and users have the ability to log in for additional sessions if needed.

“All visitors to our parks, including visitors who are blind or visually impaired, deserve access to our services,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Jeff Davis.



Aira uses secure live video streaming via smartphones and computer cameras to connect users with a live, professionally trained agent who will visually interpret what the user shares. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Executive Director and CIO of the Governor’s Office of Information Technology David Edinger said the partnership between his office, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Aira is helping to “ensure accessibility for everyone in Colorado’s wilderness.” .

“Together, we are not only transforming the way people who are blind or have low vision enjoy our state’s natural beauty, but we are also setting an example of how public-private collaborations can create meaningful impact.”

Using an app like Aira is unique in a state park environment, so users should be aware of the unique challenges these environments can present.

Like all apps that rely on video, a strong cellular connection is required to take full advantage of Aira’s services in the park. Since not all parks have cell service in all areas, visitors should call the park or visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website before visiting to determine connectivity options. Users should also ensure their devices are fully charged before leaving and consider bringing a backup power source in preparation for possible extended connectivity.

“A tool like Aira helps us fulfill our mission of providing a quality state parks system for all Coloradans and helps us create more current and future stewards of Colorado’s natural resources,” Davis said.

For more information about how to access and use Aira, visit oit.colorado.gov/accessibility/aira. The application can be downloaded to a mobile device through the Apple Store or Google Play.

This story is from Craig Press..