[Loadstone] Fundraising Question-You can answer this one.

Michael O. Hanson mhanson at winternet.com
Sat Nov 11 13:31:40 GMT 2006

Hi Earl,

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 
own amusement.

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 
soapbox now.

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 
adapted GPS.



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