YYZ Is 1st CDN Airport To Offer App-Assisted Navigation For Visually Impaired
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
To help travellers with sight loss navigate the airport independently, Toronto Pearson has partnered with Aira to offer a mobile phone app that provides assistive services to passengers who are blind or low vision. Toronto Pearson is the first airport in Canada to offer Aira to its passengers.
"At Toronto Pearson, we have a vision to be the best airport in the world, and this starts with ensuring that our passengers -- all of our passengers -- are able to navigate the airport independently," says Kurush Minocher, Associate Director, Passenger Development, at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).
Using the Aira iPhone or Android phone app, passengers can connect to a specially trained agent for navigational assistance as they journey through the airport. Through the smart glasses or phone camera, Aira's trained professionals provide on-demand visual information to help passengers navigate the airport.
Aira is a subscription service, but passengers will be able to use the app for free at YYZ; all that is required is a smartphone and the Aira application, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Aira service is available in both Terminals 1 and 3 and within Toronto Pearson parking facilities.
"The CNIB Foundation has been working in close consultation with the GTAA to identify ways to improve the travel experience for passengers with sight loss at Canada's largest airport," says Shane Silver, VP, Social Enterprise & Innovation, Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
"This announcement is a positive step on the journey to improving airport accessibility for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. We commend the GTAA for its ongoing commitment to inclusivity."
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.