[Loadstone] Fundraising Question-You can answer this one.
Michael O. Hanson
mhanson at winternet.com
Sat Nov 11 13:31:40 GMT 2006
I think I found the fund-raising "hook." As you probably know, nobody is
going to be all that interested in paying me to take a six-month hike for my
I think the best hook I have come up with is use of adapted GPS by the blind
community. Here's where I could use an answer.
I believe adapted GPS is one of the more underused navigation aids by the
blind community I know of. I know of four users in the Twin Cities and a
lot more blind people than that. Is that belief accurate in your opinion?
A receptionist at Minnesota State Services for the Blind informed me some
blind people consider adapted GPS users terrible travelers. The
receptionist was not stating her opinion. She was passing on information
about the opinions of others. If that is true, we sometimes really shoot
ourselves in the foot.
Sighted people use GPS in cars, carry hand-held units, have it on cell
phones, and make use of it. Are those of us who are blind supposed to deny
ourselves a navigation aid available to sighted people?
I know you need to know how to travel without the use of GPS in case your
equipment wigs out. Why not use it when it works? It seems to most of the
GPS will never replace mobility skills and the occasional need for sighted
assistance. It sure can reduce the need to ask for directions and does not
get its left and right confused as much as sighted people. I'll get off my
I also think there's a lot of overpriced, bulky, difficult to use junk out
there. As you know, I prefer a combination of Loadstone and Wayfinder. It
uses the smallest two components I know of and is probably the most portable
system I can find.
The bimbo gets me to parking lots or close to where I want to go. After I
ignore her advice to stay in the parking lot, Loadstone is pretty good at
finding exact locations, particularly if I've been there before.
I believe I might have better odds raising money if I use half of what I
raise to fund the hike and half to support development of good adapted GPS
software. Those are ballpark figures. I might adjust them depending on
expenses. Once I raise enough to support this hike, I could donate
everything to development of good GPS software.
That way, I can say the hike is being done in a good cause. If I am
successful, I'll make one hell of a statement about the usefulness of
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