[NABS-L] Fwd: Aira in academics, again

Valerie Gibson valandkayla at gmail.com
Fri Jul 27 02:43:23 UTC 2018


Hi,
  Yes, I will be compiling this list for my accessibility coordinator at my university.

  I’m currently in the elementary ed program, and when I began using Aira for looking at second grade work, my professors got excited that it was like I had a pair of eyes in the room whenever I needed them.  It also helps, of course, that the agents have to sign a privacy statement to not disclose anything that happens on a call … for the children’s safety and privacy.  

  When I was in a meeting with my access center, I showed them the aira device and explained how it worked. The chair of the Ed department and my professor were there as well because we were discussing next semester, and when I mentioned how universities could have site access with Aira, the chair of the department and my professor immediately jumped on talking how beneficial this could be for all students.
  My coordinator spoke with this supervisor, meetings were had, calls were made, and now he wants a list from students on various way that students are already using this so he can argue paying for it on campus.

There’s the long version.
Valerie Gibson
valandkayla at gmail.com



> On Jul 26, 2018, at 5:52 PM, Cricket X. Bidleman via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> 
> Here's my message from the first time around. If you can't see
> Gelena's email, it's gelena.correia at aira.io. Hope this helps!
> 
> Best,
> Cricket X. Bidleman (she/her/hers)
> Stanford University | Class of 2021
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "Cricket X. Bidleman" <cricketbidleman at gmail.com>
> Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 14:31:08 -0700
> Subject: Re: [NABS-L] Aira in academics, again
> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Cc: Valerie Gibson <valandkayla at gmail.com>, Gelena Correia
> <gelena.correia at aira.io>
> 
> Hi Valerie,
> 
> Let me begin by saying that I really think this is an awesome idea. I
> have a ridiculous amount to say on this topic but I'll try to keep it
> brief for you. If you or anyone else has any questions at all or wants
> more details, or wants to chat via phone, email me off-list.
> 
> A lot of the AIRA videos do have travel elements to them as you
> pointed out, which I think is especially important as means of public
> and private (or shared private) transportation become more widespread.
> However I think one of the most important things to highlight about
> AIRA is that, as I said in my last email, it provides instant
> accessibility to all areas of life. Academically, this technology
> revolutionizes education in a way that I have never experienced
> before. In my testimonial, there was a scene where an AIRA agent
> helped me find a book in a library. As you know, this can be a huge
> challenge for blind students since help is virtually required. In a
> quiet setting like a library, AIRA is incredibly valuable, especially
> now that users can use it in combination with text.
> 
> As I mentioned in my last email, AIRA is hugely important to me when
> examining diagrams. As a prospective psychology major who is seriously
> considering neuroscience as an option, AIRA has already proven to be
> essential. Tactile graphics and three-dimensional models are awesome
> but the thing is, sometimes it's still fairly impossible to get
> accurate illustrations of things, especially small things. With the
> brain in particular, this is extremely obvious. The thing is though,
> AIRA  can give me a more accurate picture than any sort of raised or
> multi-dimensional model. I can ask about the shape of tiny brain
> parts, or the percentages of space that various brain parts take up in
> a diagram.
> 
> AIRA is also especially helpful in cooking. Normally, though there are
> alternative techniques to tell when things are done, it still can be
> difficult. This is especially the case with baking and though it's
> entirely possible to stick toothpicks in stuff to test for doneness,
> doing so repeatedly just makes holes, and that's not especially
> appealing. The other day, I used AIRA to help me figure out when a
> batch of muffins was done baking. Let me tell you, those were the most
> moist, delicious muffins I've ever had. Emphasis on had, because my
> friends almost immediately took them all. I have to make more tonight
> so that I actually have something for breakfast tomorrow. I've never
> been so successful with a baking project as I was this week.
> 
> Before this gets much longer, I'll just list some ideas briefly.
> Emphasis on some ideas, because I'm already generating tons more.
> Collecting data and analyzing graphs can be very difficult,
> particularly for STEM subjects. Doing experiments involving human or
> animal subjects can be difficult especially from a behavioral
> perspective, where close observation is necessary. Reading documents
> can be difficult if they're handwritten or blurry, even with OCR apps
> etc. Athletics can prove to be a challenge. Looking at things through
> a microscope is virtually impossible. Drawing graphs or doing more
> creative, visual art projects can be a challenge. All of this is
> relatively academic, and all of this is now within relatively easy
> reach thanks to AIRA, which I truly believe has the potential to
> modernize life for the blind and visually impaired by making equal
> access and equal opportunity true possibilities.
> 
> Again, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions. I've also
> copied Gelena, who I know personally. If you need someone to help
> write a letter of justification, I am absolutely more than capable of
> doing that as well. I wrote tons of scholarship essays, which ended up
> in me getting almost $30,000 in grants and scholarships. All that
> money is gone now because Stanford is expensive but without it, I
> wouldn't be able to be here today. I had to write some extremely
> intense letters to get $16,000 in technology from the Department of
> Vocational Rehab and if I can manage that, which involves the stingy
> government, I can probably manage to justify just about anything. As a
> sidenote, I am making good use of all of that technology, so not a
> cent of that money is going to waste. Thanks!
> 
> Best,
> Cricket X. Bidleman (she/her/hers)
> Stanford University | Class of 2021
> 
> On 7/26/18, Valerie Gibson via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Oh sorry.
>> 
>> That is what I meant. Reply to this thread, not to me personally.
>> 
>> Thank you.
>> Valerie Gibson
>> valandkayla at gmail.com
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Jul 26, 2018, at 2:23 PM, Donald Winiecki via NABS-L
>>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Piggy-backing on Valerie's request, it would be terrific if replies to her
>>> were also sent to the NABS-L list.  I could use this to make a case for
>>> use
>>> at my university also.
>>> 
>>> Best,
>>> 
>>> _don
>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> Don Winiecki, Ed.D., Ph.D.
>>> *Professor of Ethics & Morality in Professional Practice*
>>> Boise State University, College of Engineering
>>> 1910 University Drive, Mail Stop 2070
>>> Boise, Idaho 83725-2070 USA
>>> E-mail: dwiniecki at boisestate.edu
>>> WWW: http://opwl.boisestate.edu
>>> Telephone: (+01) 208 426 1899
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~d​
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 2:17 PM Valerie Gibson via NABS-L
>>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Hi,
>>>> 
>>>> I’m going to keep this brief.
>>>> 
>>>> My accessibility team at my university is looking to get site access on
>>>> our campus, but they’re having a hard time getting in touch with the Aira
>>>> higher-ups.
>>>> 
>>>> I’m going to try to reach out after I send this.
>>>> 
>>>> They would like me to compile ways in which students have used the Aira
>>>> service that’s not travel related.  From what they’re able to see, a lot
>>>> of
>>>> the promos for Aira deal with travel, and they want to know more about
>>>> how
>>>> it can be used in academics.
>>>> 
>>>> If you all could reply to this with ways in which you use Aira (briefly),
>>>> I will compile the list and shoot that off to them.
>>>> 
>>>> You will, of course, have my sincere thanks.
>>>> Valerie Gibson
>>>> valandkayla at gmail.com
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
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> 
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