This summer, visitors to some Pennsylvania historic sites who are blind or have low vision will be able to experience the sites in a new way.
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission announced a project to contract with Aira, a service that connects people with low vision to a trained agent for visual information, to increase accessibility to the state’s historic sites. Visitors to the sites will be able to access Aira for free either through a smartphone app or through Aira smart glasses. The technology connects them to an agent who, from a remote location, can see what is near the user, provide description, and help them navigate the museum.
Six PA historical sites will initially offer the service: Erie Maritime Museum, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Old Economy Village, Pennsylvania Military Museum, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. All the sites are a part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. If the project is successful and funding is available, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission plans to expand the project to its other sites.