Bridges Resource Library


Updated as of January 18, 2024.

About Aira

What is Aira?

Aira is a service where you can call an agent in real time to assist you with tasks in which visual information might be helpful. Agents have undergone rigorous training and have been through various clearances and background checks so that you can feel confident that your information and privacy will be protected throughout all Aira calls.

How do I use Aira?

Using the camera on your phone, the agent can provide you with information about your environment or answer visual questions for you at your request.

How can Aira help me in school or on the job?

Aira has a number of great uses, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Being a reader for menus, books, important documents, and written signs in your surroundings
  • Providing assistance with navigating or getting information from inaccessible websites (we recommend downloading Team Viewer to your computer for this purpose)
  • Assistance with taking photos, formatting documents, and so much more!

Can I trust Aria?

Aira provides its agents with rigorous training and conducts various clearances and background checks. Therefore, users can feel confident that their information and privacy will be protected throughout all Aira calls.

Getting Started with Aira

First, you will need to download the free Aira Explorer app in the Apple App Store or the free AiraExplorer app in the Google Play Store. You just need your name, an email address, and a password to register with Aira.

Paying for Aira

Aira is a great service, but it is also a private business. As a private business, Aira must, at minimum, cover its costs, including labor, support staff, technology, and marketing.

Prior to 2023, Aira’s pricing model had not changed for five years. This was great for all involved, but it does tend to make the current price and service changes more intense for users.

Aira offers paid plans for subscribers, and it still offers free services to people who have never subscribed. In this post, we will refer to individuals with paid plans as “subscribers” and to individuals without paid plans as “non-subscribers.”

Free minutes

As of January 18, 2024, Aria offered the following services at no cost:

Aira Access

  • Offers some level of free Aira service to both subscribers and non-subscribers
    • A list of Aira Access partner categories as of January 2024 is set forth below at: “Aira Access Partners, According to the Aira Access Partners web page”
    • Example: Up to 30 minutes at Starbucks (in store, on the app, or online)
      • Includes certain other retail locations, software companies, airlines, banks, colleges, and more.
      • Notable Aira Access partners in the Maryland region include Wegman’s grocery store, Target, Starbucks, and the National Federation of the Blind as well as several agencies in Washington, DC, including the Smithsonian (including online), the American Foundation for the Blind, the American Council of the Blind, and the U.S. Access Board.
    • Sometimes offered as a “pop-up” location for a special event
  • Find more on the Aira app
    • First, must download and install the Aira app (it’s free)
    • On the “Home” page, select “Apply a free Access offer”
    • Choose from the listed categories (currently “Promotions, Products, and Locations”)

Task-specific free AIRA minutes

  • Job Seeker: up to 30 minutes every 24 hours for job-seeking tasks
  • Aira demo: teaching a friend to use Aira; up to 10 minutes at a time

Free minutes for anything

  • Non-subscribers: One call of up to five (5) minutes every 48 hours (two days)
  • Subscribers: One call of up to five (5) minutes every 12 hours

Getting Started with Aira

  • One-time, up to sixty minutes within a seven-day period

Paid plans

Aira’s new pricing plan has many components. There are three plan types (Silver, Gold, and Platinum), and there are three levels (1, 2, and 3) for each plan type.

As one moves up (Silver 1 to Silver 2 AND Silver 3 to Gold 1), the number of minutes provided and the prices for each plan increase.

Plan types offer different levels of sharing minutes:

  • Silver 1: Sharing not permitted
  • Silver 2 and 3: Up to two (2) total members may share a plan
  • Gold (all 3 levels): Up to three (3) total members may share a plan
  • Platinum (all 3 levels): Up to five (5) total members may share a plan

Price range:

  • Silver, Level 1: 15 minutes for $65
  • Platinum, Level 3: 800 minutes for $2,900

Purchased minutes

  • These are available for purchase anytime you find that you need additional minutes.
  • Like all Aira minutes, these may not be rolled over for use in future months.
  • Prices:
    • 25 minutes are $100.00
    • 50 minutes are $190.00
    • 100 minutes are $365.00  

Find more details on Aira’s Consumer Pricing Plans and Prices for Individuals web page.

Aira Offset/Affordable Personal Plan

Aira now offers an “Affordable Personal Plan,” also called the “Aira Offset.”

  • This plan provides individuals a discount from the price plan rate. The discount is 60% off of the retail price for each plan.
  • This is only available to individuals; schools, agencies, and employers are not eligible for this discount.
  • From Aira: “Our goal is to reduce the cost of our service for individual people, not enterprises. We are not asking for any proof nor do we require any documentation. Aira will grant the offset based on your request alone. Simply by contacting Customer Care and answering several questions, you will be eligible.”
  • This discount only applies to monthly plans; the additional purchased minutes are not discounted.
  • Discounted price range for individuals:
    • Silver, Level 1: 15 minutes for $26
    • Platinum, Level 3: 800 minutes for $1,160

Find more details on Aira’s Consumer Pricing Plans and Prices for Individuals web page.

Aira Access Partner Categories, According to the Aira Access Partners web page

  • Consumer Products Goods
  • Dining
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Financial Services
  • Government
  • Hospitality
  • Museums
  • Not for Profit
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Transportation

Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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