Fair for All: Accessibility a priority at Ohio State Fair

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State Fair is a place where everyone can come out and enjoy themselves.

Fair officials, along with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, wanted to make the fair accessible for individuals with disabilities.

Kevin Albanese loves to come to the Ohio State Fair, but he says he getting around and seeing everything the fair has to offer and his electric wheelchair can’t be hard.

New this year to the fair are mobile charging stations for individuals with electric wheelchairs. 

“Anything that can help us get out to be more of a citizen and feel more natural to get around and see things,” says Albanese. 

Those six charging stations can be found throughout the fairgrounds.

  • Bricker MarketPlace Building
  • Kasich Hall
  • Lausche Youth Center
  • Natural Resources Park Pavilion
  • Taste of Ohio Café
  • WCOL Celeste Center

A feature of providing accessibility to individuals who are visually impaired is AIRA. 

“There are some technology I consider game changing for blind people and Aira is one of them. It gives you a new sense of freedom,” says  Eric Duffy. 

AIRA is an app available for fairgoers who are blind or have a low vision. They are connected with a digital agent through the app who can navigate them through the fair where ever they want to go, when they want to go.

Thursday, Eric Duffy and 12-year-old Makenzie Love, both visually impaired, tested out the technology with Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. 

“It gives them this personal touch and that means independence,”said Kevin Miller, director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.

AIRA  technology is available for free to fairgoers. 

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