On a bright and clear Sunday, hundreds of blind and visually impaired South Florida residents joined police escorts and supporters on a demonstrative walk through the city streets surrounding the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Visually Impaired. They were there for White Cane Day on Oct. 16, a nationally observed day designated for the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired, the important symbol of blindness and to highlight blind independence.
Virginia Jacko, Miami Lightouse’s first fully blind CEO, presided over the day’s events, which also included music, food and a demonstration of a new technology called Aira by Paul Schroeder, Aira director of public policy and strategic alliances. Using the camera on almost any mobile device or smart glass, like Google Glass, Aira connects visually impaired clients with remote agents who tell users details about their surroundings they’d otherwise have very limited access to, like cooking recipes written on the boxes of food products, instructions written on products and machines at a laundromat and departure and arrival times at an airport.
— Jesse Scheckner for Prof. Susan Jacobson — VIC4001 Spring 2017