Cool Tech: American River College Offers Free Visual Assistance Service

Listen: Tiffany Manosh

American River College (ARC) is providing a revolutionary visual assistance service for the blind and visually impaired on campus in partnership with AIRA, Artificial Intelligence Remote Access, a San Diego based company. Real time agents, or a voice-activated AI interface, assist individuals through visual obstacles, such as maneuvering through campus and reading written information. People who need the service at the college can connect through the AIRA Access service for free.

Funding for the service was gained through the efforts of ARC employee Tiffany Manosh, who is visually impaired and works in the college’s Computer Science Department, and Randy Schuster, Chair of the ARC Design Hub. The funding was earned through a competitive grant program organized by the college’s Office of Philanthropy.The $15,000 grant provides several pairs of smart glasses and allows students at ARC to utilize AIRA for no charge during the academic year.

Manosh and other students have been using the glasses and app to maneuver throughout the school while it is undergoing construction work. Manosh has also used them to fly drones, print 3D items, and other activities.

For more information on AIRA, please visitwww.aira.io.

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