It is easier than ever for people who have challenges to order drinks and food from Starbucks stores in North Central and around the country.

The coffee retailer recently began offering a service called Aira for free in all its stores in the United States in partnership with Aira Tech Corp. Aira connects blind and low-vision people to trained visual interpreters who provide instant access to visual information via a third-party smartphone app. This service allows customers to ask remote agents to describe Starbucks stores’ layouts so they can navigate to the line to order their drinks and food, as well as to point-of-sale. Agents read the menu and describe pastries and ready-to-eat and drink cases and on the counters to users.

Starbucks first began testing Aira service in seven cities earlier this year. Aira has been helpful for customers dealing with the protocols and physical changes implemented in Starbucks stores during this COVID-19 pandemic. This new offering is part of Starbucks’ ongoing dedication to inclusion, diversity and equity, as well as its attempts to boost accessibility of the Starbucks Experience for its employees and customers.

There are several Starbucks locations in North Central and around the Valley, including one at 730 W. Camelback Road. To learn more, visit