Young blind man at a bus stop using assistive technology to help with map

Video Remote Assistance- VRA

VRA is a software application built for Android, iOS, Macs and PC that allows a Blind or Low Vision user to reach a secure agent on-demand in live, real-time with the press of a button, who can then assist the user via the camera of their smart phone or tablet. The application is free and once downloaded from the App store or website, the user can log in and create a user name and password.  All options on the software support voice-over capabilities.  All agents are thoroughly trained in the art of perception through the camera of a mobile device or tablet. Each agent will use the same vernacular, frame of reference, and vantage points, standardizing the communication between agent and user. Any and all information discussed, seen, heard or read is completely privileged information and cannot be repeated. Our adherence to HIPAA compliance means that all communications are encrypted, privileged, and completely private, similar to TRS -Telecommunication Relay Services. 

VRA can help in situations such as these, and many more:

  • Determining what medication the user is holding
  • Assisting in adjusting the thermostat in a unfamiliar place, such as a hotel
  • Determining if and where the service dog soiled the floor (this actually was a scenario during our first pilot)
  • Assisting in picking out items in the grocery store
  • Reading important mail items, such as bank statements or health insurance documents
  • Using it to read work emails or receive training on equipment
  • Guiding in emergency situations, such as when a fire alarm sounds while in a building for the first time
  • Combining our technology with braille readers/writers for the Deaf Blind

Once logged in, the user has 3 visual assistance options:

  1. Upload a picture from text, social media or email that will be automatically displayed to the agent when a user calls into the platform.
  2. Take a picture that will also be automatically displayed to the agent when the user calls into the platform.
  3. Call an agent who can then use the live, real-time video feed to provide assistance.

Once a user calls an agent, the call is immediately answered and notifies the user a VRA call has been placed and he/she will be routed to the next available secure agent. When the call is answered, the agent will automatically see an uploaded picture and can begin to describe the picture or will see in real-time anything in the user’s camera’s field of view, and can begin to assist.


The difference VRA boasts over anything similar is that it is completely secure, HIPAA compliant, and all communications are privileged and protected.