Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has expanded a pilot program to 600 stores to offer a free service called Aira for those customers who are blind or have limited vision.
Aira connects blind and low-vision guests with trained agents who act as visual interpreters. Following a successful pilot that began last year, Target launched the service to the additional 600 stores across the U.S. in November.
According to Target, the partnership with Aira allows it “to make a real difference in blind and low-vision guests’ shopping experience, but it’s also building on Target’s journey to create a deep foundation of accessibility.”
The project was developed by Target’s accessibility team, including lead consultant Steve Decker — who’s blind himself — and others at the retailer’s headquarters in the U.S. and India. The team members couple their diverse backgrounds along with their own experiences with disabilities to champion accessibility in Target stores and online.
“Each day, I have an incredible opportunity to help make Target even more welcoming and inclusive,” said Decker. “I get to turn my personal experiences into solutions that not only make daily tasks easier, but bring a little extra everyday joy to even more guests, no matter how they shop.”
Aira services are now available at Target stores in 13 major markets, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Houston, Denver, Baltimore, Austin, Washington D.C. and the San Francisco-Bay Area. Once in an Aira-enabled store, guests can use their smartphone or Aira smart glasses to access the app. Aira is available free of charge as long as guests are in the store, with no limit on call time.
Customers can download the Aira app at aira.io/app and complete a brief registration. They can then select “Call Using a Free Offer” to access a list of nearby Aira access locations.