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Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to offer visual interpretive services

By Christina Estes
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 7:26am

Sky Harbor
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in June 2021.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport will offer more support for travelers who are blind or low-vision.

The airport will pay California-based Aira $50,000 over five years for visual interpreting services. 

A video on the company’s website shows live, human-to-human interaction through a smartphone app. Using video from the phone’s camera, optical character recognition, GPS and other data, the interpreter provides descriptions and guidance. Sky Harbor said the free app will be available for unlimited use as passengers move through crowds, gates, restaurants, and security checkpoints. 

The $10,000 annual fee is based on airport size determined by the Federal Aviation Administration. The agreement includes unlimited minutes for all passengers.

Last fall, Sky Harbor launched its Compassion Cacti Program to help people with hidden disabilities. The program was the latest step in Phoenix's commitment to Dementia Friendly America, a national network of communities and individuals working to support people living with dementia and their caregivers.

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