YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Art can provide inspiration. It’s what you see, but some have trouble seeing the artwork. Now, the Butler Institute of American Art has a new way to help the blind and those with low vision.
Joy Mistovich is an accessibility specialist at the museum. As she walks the displays, an Aira agent is describing the paintings to her. She’s hearing about the artwork through an app and at the simple touch of a button, an agent talks with her and describes the painting in front of her.
“It just provides a whole new world of information that wasn’t possible before,” Mistovich said.
Mistovich has retinopathy. What others can see at 200 feet, Joy can only see at 20. The app uses her phone camera, so the agent can help her see the art better.
“They can give me a enhancements by telling me the colors of the artwork and how the artists used the paint on the canvas and just so many other things,” Mistovich said.
Mistovich says that makes art enjoyable for everyone, and the app helps promote independence.
“Most blind individuals would require the assistance of family or friends and now, it’s just anyone can explore and just decide which types of exhibitions and works they wish to see for themselves,” she said.
Aira is now available at the Butler. It can also be used at Meijer, Starbucks and Target.