Colorado Parks and Wildlife announces expansion of Aira to state parks

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Theresa Montano, the Senior Solutions Architect for OIT's Technology Accessibility Program team, uses the Aira app at Chatfield State Park.

DENVER - To continue advancing Governor Polis’s goal of a Colorado for All, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is pleased to announce the expansion of Aira availability to the state parks system.

Aira is a digital tool to help 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 locations and digital services, including state parks. Through the Governor’s Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) Technology Accessibility Program (TAP), Aira provides free 30-minute sessions and users can connect for additional sessions if needed.

“All of us at Colorado Parks and Wildlife support working toward the important goals of a Colorado for All,” said CPW Director Jeff Davis. “All of our park visitors, including blind or lower vision visitors, deserve access to our services. We’re incredibly fortunate to be included in the expansion of Aira, helping ensure everyone feels welcome at our parks, and know that our programs and locations aim to be equitable and inclusive.”

Aira uses the camera on a smartphone or computer to connect to a live, professionally-trained agent that uses secure live video streaming to visually interpret what is shared by the user. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

"The partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife, OIT and Aira helps ensure accessibility for all in Colorado's great outdoors," said OIT Executive Director and CIO David Edinger. "Together, we are not only transforming the way people who are blind or low-vision enjoy our state's natural beauty but also setting an example of how public-private collaborations can create meaningful impact."

Using an app like Aira is unique in a state park setting, so users must be aware of the unique challenges these settings may present.

Like all apps that depend on video, a solid cellular connection is required to fully take advantage of Aira services at the park. Since not all parks have cellular service in all areas, visitors should call the park or visit the CPW website to understand connectivity before visiting. Because Aira relies on streaming video, users should plan to ensure their devices are fully charged and consider bringing a backup power source to prepare for extended connectivity.

CPW's Aira promotional video from Chatfield State Park highlights the partnership between Aira and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. It shows how the app can be incorporated when visiting Colorado’s state parks, demonstrating how blind visitors can navigate trails, experience interpretive signage and share their visit with friends and family.

“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,” said Davis.

Learn more about how to access and use Aira at Download the app from your mobile device via the Apple Store or Google Play and let your friends and family know about this beneficial service.

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