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> On 6 Apr 2018, at 19:02, M. Taylor <mk...@ucla.edu> wrote:
> Hello Everyone,  
> I am posting the following article because it references an iOS app.
> Mark
> A review of Aira. What it is, how it works, and the ways it has changed my
> life
> by Jonathan Mosen, Posted on 03/04/2018
> Introduction
> Recently, I was pleased to attend the CSUN assistive technology conference.
> I've had the privilege of going to 10 of these before, but it has been a few
> years since I was there last.
> When you're involved with an industry, you tend to watch developments so
> closely that changes usually seem incremental. But occasionally, something
> new comes along that is so game changing, it stops you in your tracks. For
> me, San Diego-based Aira is one such technology. I am late to this party.
> Aira has been rolling out for some time in the United States. And indeed, we
> covered Aira in an edition of The Blind Side Podcast last year. But since
> mentioning my Aira experience to people via outlet such as my Internet radio
> show, The Mosen Explosion, I've learned that not everyone yet fully
> understands what the service is or how it works. For those not familiar with
> Aira, or who would like to read someone else's impressions of it, read on.
> What is Aira
> According to the company's website,
> Aira is today's fastest growing assistive community. One tap of a button
> instantly connects you with a sighted professional agent who delivers visual
> assistance anytime and anywhere.
> Here's what that means in practice. At present, Aira is a smart phone app,
> available for iOS and Android. Since Aira is a service for blind people,
> it's no surprise that the app is exemplary in terms of its accessibility.
> And in iOS, it even sports Siri integration.
> Using the app, you can connect via video, much like a FaceTime call, with
> agents who can provide you with visual information. Audio quality is
> excellent, far clearer than a standard cell phone connection. Essentially,
> an Aira agent can tell you anything at all that a pair of functioning eyes
> can see, plus perform a range of tasks pertaining to that information.
> You can acquire the visual information using your smart phone's camera, or,
> when you become a subscriber to the Aira service (Aira calls its customers
> "explorers") you receive a pair of smart glasses. These are included as part
> of your subscription, so there's no hardware cost upfront.
> The service is available officially in the United States at present, where
> Aira has an arrangement with AT&T. Aira explorers receive an AT&T MiFi
> device, allowing them to use the service on the go without the data consumed
> by the video connection eating up a customer's own cellular plan. If you
> have a cellular plan equipped with the personal hotspot feature, you are
> free to pair your Aira glasses with your phone using that method. For those
> with large data plans, this may be attractive because there is one less
> device to keep track of, carry, and charge. The downside, other than the
> data consumption, is that a video connection to Aira for a long time may
> cause significant battery drain on your smart phone.
> When you're at home, work, or anywhere that Wi-Fi is available that doesn't
> require web-based authentication, you can pair your Aira glasses to that
> network. As far as I have been able to ascertain, 5 GHZ Wi-Fi isn't
> supported at present.
> Because of the need for high quality video, the glasses pair via Wi-Fi, and
> not Bluetooth. The glasses are associated with your Aira account. This is
> useful if, like in Bonnie's and my house, you're sharing your minutes as a
> couple. More on that later.
> The upshot of all of this is that for 18 hours of every day, professional,
> well-trained sighted assistance is just a few taps or a Siri command away.
> Describing it like this makes it sound kind of cool. But I want to explain
> the impact that Aira has had on our lives in the brief time we have had it,
> to illustrate that, at least for some of us, this technology is more than
> just pretty cool, it's life-changing.
> My first Aira experience
> If you've been reading this blog or listening to The Blind Side Podcast over
> the years, you will know that in recent times I have come out as having a
> hearing impairment. I love going to these big conferences because I get to
> catch up with old friends and make new ones, as well as see the latest and
> greatest technology. I hate going to these big conferences because often, I
> find myself in difficult audio environments. It can be very noisy. Hotel
> lobbies and restaurants are often exceedingly crowded, with high ceilings
> causing noise to bounce everywhere. The environment is difficult and tiring,
> but I keep going and doing the best I can, because the alternative is to sit
> at home and rust away, and I'm certainly not going to do that.
> One smart thing that Aira has done is to start rolling out a concept called
> "site access". With appropriate sponsorship, or perhaps at times where there
> will be many potential customers in one place, Aira can enable free access
> to a location or even the entire city through their smart city project.
> There are two benefits to the strategy. First, it's helpful for existing
> Aira explorers because they can use the service as much as they want without
> it counting against their monthly plans.
> Second, anyone, even those not signed up with an Aira monthly plan, can go
> to the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store, download the app, create a
> guest account, and use the service for free. As I found out, it's convenient
> to have access to Aira in such situations, and it offers the opportunity for
> Aira to convert those guests into full-time explorers. Smart stuff.
> It was thanks to this program that I gave Aira a shot. Had I been required
> to go to the booth to give it a go, I probably would have run out of time
> and wouldn't be writing this post. But it was a cinch to download the app
> and set up my guest account.
> I first decided to put Aira through a simple test. Having arrived in San
> Diego after a long journey, I wasn't taking much notice of the hotel layout
> when the porter showed me to my room. So, the next morning, I made my first
> call to Aira, and asked the friendly agent to guide me to the elevator. Not
> only did I get to the elevator effortlessly, I was also guided right to the
> button for the elevator.
> But the call I will never forget is the one I made to ask for assistance
> getting to the exhibit hall while exhibits were being set up. If you've
> visited the Grand Hyatt in San Diego, you'll know how cavernous the lobby
> can sound. When the lobby is full of people, I find it impossible to
> navigate, because there's just so much sound bouncing everywhere. To be
> honest, I wasn't expecting much from Aira, but I was keen to see what would
> happen.
> This is the moment when I transitioned from the intellectual understanding
> that "this is quite a good concept", to the emotional connection that made
> me say "holy guacamole, this thing is changing my life!"
> I'm not a guide dog handler at the moment, but I have been in the past. One
> of the advantages of working with a dog over using a cane is that you avoid
> many obstacles without ever coming into contact with them. The exception is
> if you are a cane user with good echolocation. I think that even with full
> hearing, I would have found echolocation difficult in that very noisy lobby,
> but it's certainly not viable for me now. Therefore, in that type of
> environment, I often find myself hitting people's legs with my cane, as I
> try to find a way forward. With the Aira agent talking in my hearing aids
> which were also delivering environmental sounds, I was getting information
> about where the crowds were, and when I needed to veer to avoid running into
> people. I was told when it was necessary to turn to reach my destination and
> given confirmation that I was indeed heading in the correct direction.
> Because of my hearing, and the fact that I know navigating these
> environments can be difficult, I had allowed myself plenty of time to reach
> the exhibit hall. But I reached it much more quickly than I had anticipated,
> and with much less stress than usual.
> When we eventually reached the exhibit hall, which was some considerable
> distance away, the agent informed me that the door was closed. I expected
> this, since I was heading to the exhibit hall before it was officially open
> to the public. The icing on the cake was when she said that she could see a
> counter to the left of the door with a sign labelled "Exhibit Services". She
> then informed me that there was a man behind that counter and offered to
> lead me to him. She did so, and he let me in. Astounded, I thanked the
> agent, and ended the call.
> Full disclosure, at this point, it gets a bit embarrassing. No technology
> has made me cry for joy before. But a stressful experience I have to psych
> myself up for had just been made effortless and enjoyable. I was utterly
> overwhelmed. This was all achieved with no more than the free app and the
> camera on my iPhone X.
> Piloting Aira outside the US
> I've no doubt that I would have been wowed by Aira even if I had been blind
> without a hearing impairment. But, having had a taste of the independence it
> was giving me, even better than the independence I had when I was a
> traveller without a hearing impairment, I really wanted to see if there was
> any way I could take this home to New Zealand. I knew it would be unlikely,
> because Aira is very clear that they are only available now in the United
> States and I think parts of Canada. But I genuinely felt that having had a
> taste of Aira, I would feel a sense of disability if I lost it again.
> I met with Aira's CEO, Suman Kanuganti, who kindly agreed to let me pilot
> the service here. Since this is a fairly glowing review of the service, I
> want to be clear that I am paying the same as everyone else. This is not a
> paid advertisement. And I'm aware of the limitations of using the service
> here when it's not officially supported. For example, Aira is currently
> unavailable between 1 AM and 7 AM Eastern time. At this time of year, that
> equates to 5 PM to 11 PM New Zealand time. That's a time when we have had a
> need for the service, but I signed up knowing what I was getting into, so
> that's an observation rather than a complaint. Even for Aira's existing
> customer base, I'm sure many hope that this downtime will soon be a thing of
> the past. I'm one of those totally blind people without light perception who
> has non-24 sleep/wake disorder. I'm fortunate that because most of my
> deliverables can be delivered at any time, I just let my circadian rhythm do
> its thing. That means I'm sometimes very productive at 2, 3 or 4 AM. I'm
> sure there are many Aira users in the United States in a similar position,
> who'd value having access to Aira at that time.
> I'll also be providing feedback on any technical or cultural issues relating
> to the use of the service here, should they arise. The most obvious cultural
> issue is that many of our place names are in the Maori language, the
> indigenous language of New Zealand. Understandably, Aira agents don't have
> experience pronouncing them correctly, but that's no different from
> listening to the same place names spoken by most text-to-speech engines.
> When mobile, Bonnie and I are using Aira with our mobile data plans. We
> share a cellular plan that has 25 GB of mobile data per month, and our LTE
> networks are very robust here, particularly in urban environments.
> Signing up as an explorer
> Typically, when you sign up as an explorer, you can start using the service
> right away with your smart phone, and the hardware is shipped to you. Since
> I was at the CSUN conference, I was able to sign up online, and collect my
> hardware from the Aira booth.
> The ability to use the service as a guest is fairly new, and one of the
> problems I had was that I couldn't sign up with the email address I had
> associated with my guest account, because the system flagged it as already
> in use. It would be nice to have a feature within the app that allowed you
> to upgrade to a paid account while signed in as a guest. Hopefully that will
> come in time. The only way around it for now is either to sign up with a
> different email address or complete the process over the phone.
> When you make your first call as a fully-fledged explorer, an Aira agent
> assists you to create your profile. It's here that you really start to
> appreciate how carefully the services been devised. Suman Kanuganti and his
> team have worked closely with Blind people, sought their advice, and taken
> it to heart. It would have been easy for a service like this to have become
> patronising. Instead, the culture feels like it is truly a partnership
> between the explorer and the agent.
> As part of the induction process, you are advised that Aira will never tell
> you that it's safe to cross the street, and agents will remain silent while
> you are crossing. If you are mobile, and the agent detects that you're not
> travelling with a cane or a dog, they will disconnect the call. They make it
> clear that they are not a substitute for your blindness skills, or for your
> mobility tool of choice. And they advise that they keep personal opinions
> out of all descriptions and interactions.
> You're asked if there are any additional disabilities that it would be
> helpful for them to be aware of. I was able to tell them about my hearing
> impairment.
> Rather like when using JAWS, you are offered three levels of verbosity. The
> three levels are explained to you clearly. Your default level is recorded in
> your profile. You can change the default at any time, or for a particular
> call. The most verbose option will even describe people's facial expressions
> as you're walking down the street.
> You're asked whether you prefer directions to be given as a clock face, or
> in terms of "left" and "right". In a noisy environment, it's easier for me
> to differentiate between 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock, than between left and
> right.
> Once the process is done, all your preferences are recorded and immediately
> made available to the agent when you call in.
> Ride sharing Integration
> Using the APIs of the ride sharing services Uber and Lyft, Aira can connect
> to your accounts to both call and monitor your rides. You may ask the agent
> to initiate the entire process for you, or you could use the app of your
> ride sharing service of choice to call a vehicle, then get the agent online
> who can see the car you've been allocated, and help you watch for its
> arrival.
> Some people have safety concerns about using ride sharing services, since
> you might walk up to a car that you think is the one you've called, only to
> find its some random person. Having an Aira agent assist you to the vehicle
> will avoid that.
> It's also a brilliant way to catch drivers who speed away because of your
> dog. An Aira agent can take pictures remotely using the camera you're
> connecting with, be it the camera on your smart phone or the one built into
> the glasses. This gives you photographic evidence of the driver speeding
> away.
> Sharing minutes
> Recently, Aira introduced the ability to share minutes with up to two
> additional people. The feature is great for blind couples like Bonnie and
> me. Inviting Bonnie to share my minutes was easily done from the app, and
> she was signed up in minutes, although there was a technical issue which
> prevented her from logging in. This was resolved in a few hours after
> contacting Aira.
> How we've used Aira
> There is a wonderful section on the Aira website and in its app, with
> extensive lists of the way that people are using the service. As the father
> of two daughters, one use case that both resonated with me and amused me was
> the explorer who asked an agent to describe their daughter's new boyfriend.
> But here are just a few of the ways that we've used Aira since we've had it.
> What does this button do?
> It was wonderful to be able to ask an agent, trained to explain things
> clearly, how to operate the air-conditioning in my hotel room in San Diego.
> I was also curious about a little panel to the right of the air-conditioning
> unit. After getting me to look at the unit, the agent took a photo, blew it
> up, and told me that it was a control panel for the windows in my hotel
> room. I probably wouldn't have bothered investigating it had it not been for
> Aira.
> Journalism
> Bonnie has now embarked on a journalism course. Today's journalists must
> operate in a multimedia environment. This includes taking their own photos.
> Thanks to the technology VoiceOver offers, it's possible for a blind person
> to take good photos. When action is moving fast though, it may not be
> possible to capture that action quickly enough. And VoiceOver's camera
> functions are limited to recognising people. Seeing AI will recognise
> scenes, but only after you've taken the picture. Aira to the rescue.
> Just a couple of days after Bonnie began sharing my Aira minutes, she needed
> to cover a popular Wellington street festival. Bonnie tells me she couldn't
> have done it without Aira. Giving instructions to the agent ahead of time
> about the kind of material she wanted to capture, the Aira agent was able to
> take pictures at exactly the right time and give Bonnie advice about how to
> angle the camera. Her photography lecturer praised the photos.
> The agent gave vivid, detailed descriptions of the festival and the people
> participating in it, which made it easy for Bonnie to write a descriptive,
> colourful newspaper story that wasn't devoid of visual imagery even though
> she is blind.
> When Bonnie got the munchies after a hard day's journalism, the agent helped
> her locate the food truck she wanted from a number that were at the
> festival, and then read her the menu on the side of the truck.
> Preserving the moment
> Since Aira can take pictures using the glasses or camera remotely, we
> recently used it at a birthday party we attended to get the perfect picture
> for our own records, and for posting to social media.
> Compiling reports
> When you travel and collect receipts, you end up with little bits of paper,
> business cards from cab drivers with receipt information scrawled on the
> back, and big pieces of paper.
> I've become adept over the years at performing optical character recognition
> on all of it for the compilation of expense reports, but it's
> time-consuming. I took the stress out of the situation and handed it to
> Aira. My agent advised using the camera on the iPhone X for this task rather
> than the glasses. She gave instructions regarding the positioning of the
> camera, took pictures of all the documents, and I had no doubt that each
> receipt was fully in the picture.
> She put them all in a single document which she then emailed to me. This
> process took probably a third to a quarter of the time it would have usually
> taken me.
> Transcription
> As someone who's been totally blind since birth, I've enjoyed becoming more
> familiar with effective use of the camera and understanding the relationship
> between distance and getting the subject of a photograph fully in the
> picture. When in hotels, I sometimes find getting a good-quality capture of
> hotel compendia and in-room dining menus a challenge. The print may have
> become faded over time, or there's a wide variation of print types. It can
> also take time to work out whether there is print on both sides of the page
> or not, and sometimes that can vary even within the same document.
> At a recent hotel stay, Aira took all the stress out of rendering the
> in-room dining menu accessible to Bonnie and me. The agent very quickly
> snapped pictures of all the pages and could see at a glance when the pages
> were single or double-sided. Then, the agent transcribed the text into a
> fully accessible Word document. I was given the choice as to whether I
> wanted a full transcription, which of course took a little longer, or just a
> summary of the items on the menu and their prices.
> The mysteries of the minibar
> Many hotel minibars now have sophisticated sensors that charge you for an
> item when you lift it out of the fridge. Rather than hunt around for a
> barcode on each bottle, can, and food item, an Aira agent was able to recite
> the cans in the fridge in left-to-right order.
> Real-time audio description
> Bonnie and I recently took a gondola ride in one of the most picturesque
> parts of New Zealand. One of our party was sighted, nevertheless, I decided
> to call Aira, to ask an agent if she could give me real-time audio
> description as we rode the gondola, then as we stood on the viewing
> platform. It was a moving experience to get such detailed descriptions of
> the water, the tree line and the city below. Our sighted companion was
> impressed, saying that Aira had told us things she wouldn't have thought
> about describing.
> Does Aira harm the accessibility cause?
> When I've discussed Aira with some blind people, a few have expressed the
> concern that the service may discourage those of us who have it from
> continuing to advocate for a truly accessible world. They fear that as
> providers of information and services become aware of Aira, they may feel
> under less of an obligation to do the right thing when it comes to
> accessibility.
> For example, if you read this blog regularly, you will know I've been
> campaigning about the code to complete the New Zealand census not being
> accessible. If I had been an Aira explorer at the time, an Aira agent would
> have read the access code to me, and the process would have taken about a
> minute maximum. Would I have begun my campaign for the codes to be
> inherently accessible if Aira had been in our home to do that for me? I
> would like to think so.
> A similar concern was expressed when JAWS introduced the ability to perform
> OCR on inaccessible PDF files.
> I believe Aira is a pragmatic solution that delivers access to us today.
> That in no way means that those of us with the skills and inclination to
> advocate for a more accessible world shouldn't continue to do so. If we've
> been able to use Aira to work around the problem, it's just that, a
> work-around. Most of the world's written information today is born
> accessible. Someone must take a deliberate step to convert it into something
> inaccessible, and we must always object to that occurring. So, we must still
> advocate for all aspects of life to be as accessible as possible.
> In this highly visual world, there'll always be plenty of tasks for Aira to
> perform, even as accessibility improves.
> Does Aira erode blindness skills?
> The arrival of the pocket calculator, the cell phone with a built-in contact
> directory, and many other technologies have been the cause of people
> expressing concern about the "dumbing down" of the human race. A few people
> I've spoken with about Aira have wondered if it will cause an erosion of
> blindness skills among its users. I don't believe so. I contend the impact
> will be positive.
> For me personally, other circumstances, specifically my hearing impairment,
> have made travel time-consuming and exhausting. Freedom of movement should
> not be the privilege of the blind elite who happen to find travel intuitive
> and easy. Freedom of movement is, in my view, a fundamental human right.
> With the ability to travel under less stress, I believe my travel skills,
> which may have eroded a little over the years as I've begun avoiding tricky
> situations, will in fact improve due to increased use.
> Remember, Aira does not replace your cane or dog. You must still know how to
> use your cane in a way that helps you locate obstacles and provides you with
> clues about your environment.
> What it costs, and is it value for money?
> Assuming you have a smartphone, there is no other hardware you must purchase
> to use Aira. It's all included as part of the package.
> The current pricing structure looks like this:
> .    Basic Plan. 100 regular minutes a month for $89.
> .    Plus Plan. 200 regular minutes a month for $129.
> .    Pro Plan. 400 regular minutes a month for $199.
> .    Premium Plan. Unlimited regular minutes a month for $329.
> I believe it is possible to get further discounts on the Pro plan if you pay
> a year, or even several years, in advance.
> If you run out of minutes, you can purchase additional ones.
> You can cancel or upgrade your plan at any time.
> Whenever a company provides a service directly to the blind community, there
> are always people who will express concern about cost. Unfortunately, the
> economic reality is that the cost of research and development, as well as
> the overheads involved in running a business, must be spread across a
> smaller group of people when providing a service to our community. This
> equation is made more difficult because so many people in our community are
> unemployed and living hand to mouth. Sure, for some people, Aira will be
> worth sacrificing a few daily cups of premium coffee for, but it's not that
> easy for everyone.
> Some people question whether the service is worth the cost given that there
> is a free service, Be My Eyes, which connects you with sighted volunteers.
> Be My Eyes is a useful service, and I don't seek to denigrate it at all. I
> am signed up with it, have supported it since before it went live, and I use
> it from time to time. But Be My Eyes relies on volunteers. Some people are
> so keen to assist a blind person that they answer a call when they may have
> been better letting it go. Others simply don't explain things clearly
> enough. And yes, there are some who are outstanding. But I equate using Be
> My Eyes with asking a stranger for directions in the street. Sometimes you
> will get somebody who couldn't be more helpful. At other times you will get
> somebody who doesn't know their right from their left, or just isn't
> observant about the world around them.
> With Aira, the agents have been trained extensively, plus they have tools
> that help pinpoint your location and provide other data. There's also a
> guarantee of privacy with Aira.
> I know of people who've used Aira to help them sign employment contracts,
> complete tax returns and more.
> So, in my view, there is no question that Aira will revolutionise the lives
> of many blind people if they can afford to access it. This raises important
> public policy questions. Many agencies serving blind people will provide
> funding for sighted assistance to be available on-location at specific
> times. Perhaps such agencies fund several hours of assistance each week in
> the workplace. Other agencies may fund a human reader to visit a blind
> person's home. Aira gives you access to sighted assistance on demand, at
> your convenience, not at the convenience of the sighted person. This is
> important because some tasks may only take a couple of minutes, but they can
> be show stoppers on the job until we can get that assistance. In a work
> environment, sighted assistance on-demand through Aira has the potential to
> improve a blind person's productivity.
> There's also the social investment argument. If a much wider range of blind
> people can feel comfortable about travelling in unfamiliar areas, government
> investment in Aira could pay dividends by improving employability.
> Looking to the future
> Most blind people become blind later in life. And most of those people don't
> have smart phones. This group is often forgotten, so it's encouraging to see
> that Aira has been giving them considerable thought. The coming generation
> of seniors will be more assertive and tech savvy. They will have had
> experience of technology in the workplace, and they are willing to spend
> money to ameliorate the consequences of their age-related disability.
> However, they may decide that coming to terms with the blindness specific
> touchscreen paradigm is just too difficult. Certainly, that's the case now.
> Yet I think many seniors would love to have access to Aira. If they can have
> an agent assist them to read the newspaper in the morning, describe pictures
> of the grandchildren or go through their mail, that's something many would
> gladly pay for.
> The market for Aira's services is going to increase significantly with the
> introduction of their new Horizon technology. Currently, to use Aira, you
> need at least two things - a smart phone, and the glasses, both of which
> need to be charged. If you want to use it without eating into your data
> plan, you'll need to carry the AT&T MiFi device around with you. That also
> needs to be charged separately. That's three things in total that need to be
> charged.
> Within the next few months, Aira is promising to simplify their offering
> significantly. They've taken a Samsung Android device, which includes a
> physical home button, and developed their own firmware for it. This device
> is not designed to be used as a cell phone. Rather than requiring a MiFi,
> the data SIM will be in this device. The new Horizon glasses, which are much
> more fashionable and elegant looking, are tethered to this device with an
> unobtrusive-looking cable. The field of view is much improved, as is the
> video quality. That means less need to keep turning one's head at the
> instruction of the Aira agent. With the glasses getting their power from the
> Horizon device, battery life is massively improved.
> This all means that someone who doesn't have a smart phone will fire up the
> Horizon device, double tap the button, and talk to an agent. Smart phone
> users will retain the option to control their Aira experience via the app
> they're used to.
> This configuration also reduces latency and any potential for video
> degradation. There will no longer be a wireless hop that the video needs to
> take between the glasses and the device transmitting the video to an Aira
> agent.
> Clearly, considerable thought and capital investment has gone into the next
> generation of the service. This demonstrates that Aira is continuing to
> innovate and thinking about broadening its base.
> Over time, artificial intelligence will become smarter, and will be able to
> do more of the things that human agents are doing for Aira explorers now.
> It's therefore sensible forward planning that Aira has begun work on their
> own artificial intelligence engine they are calling Chloe. Initially, Chloe
> will offer optical character recognition, and perform functions relating to
> the operation and configuration of the Horizon device. I imagine that over
> time, Chloe will become more capable. That will increase efficiency for the
> explorer and reduce overheads for the company.
> Concluding thoughts
> Aira's evolution is an exemplary case study of how to tap into a niche
> market and create a new, innovative product. Of course, it's not perfect,
> but what is? Sometimes, you can lose cellular coverage when you really need
> it, causing the connection with the agent to drop. There's nothing Aira can
> do about that other than ensuring they're using hardware that maximises the
> cellular signal, and to have a robust protocol in place for seeking to
> re-establish the connection. But all in all, the service is fantastic.
> There've been a few phases of Aira adoption for me. The first was hearing
> about it and understanding intellectually that it was a clever idea. The
> second was the strong, powerful, emotional realisation that this could
> really change my life. The third is the dawning realisation that I'm not
> imposing on anybody anymore. Many of us can relate to having sighted family
> members or friends who we turn to when we need a pair of working eyes, and
> we hope we are not overdoing it. When I first started using Aira, I had a
> twinge of reluctance about making calls, wondering if someone might need the
> help of the agent more than me. Then, one day, it really dawned on me. The
> people at Aira want me to make the call. After all, if I use up all my
> minutes, I might buy more. So, when I make a call to Aira, I'm not
> inconveniencing anybody, I'm strengthening their bottom line. How wonderful
> it is to call on sighted help without feeling like I might be a burden.
> If you'd like to try Aira
> Due to the exchange rate between the United States and New Zealand,
> unfortunately Aira is a little more expensive here than it is in the United
> States. Bonnie and I are presently using the Plus plan, at $129 USD a month,
> which equates to $179 NZD. When the novelty wears off a little, it will be
> interesting to see if we need the 200 minutes.
> So, if you would like to give Aira a try, I'd appreciate it if you'd sign up
> using our referral link. The referral program means that the person being
> referred, and the person who did the referring, each gets a free month.
> Pretty good marketing. To take Aira for a spin, activate my referral link. I
> hope it makes as much of a difference to you as it has to Bonnie and me.
> Are you an Aira explorer? What do you think of the service, and what are
> some of the ways you're using it? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
> Original Article at:
> http://mosen.org/aira/
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