Message from the President
Leader Dog's "Match Strike"
Greg was excited to put a Kapten PLUS into the hands of the woman who has been a Leader Dog client longer than anyone else, Enid Bourne. Enid first thought that at 86 she was too old for new technology, but after a few minutes of pushing buttons and listening to the device, she quickly changed her mind and got excited about the possibilities the device offers.
There are ideas or concepts that come our way every day. Periodically one sticks with you even if you try to forget about it. There is just something about the idea that makes you feel it may be important to you at some point in your life.
I experienced this after I read about Malcolm Gladwell's "match strike" concept. Gladwell writes for The New Yorker magazine and attached the phrase "match strike" to little ideas that start to burn quickly and spread like wildfire.
When the Kapten GPS device (produced by Kapsys of France) first came to our attention, we knew they were on the right track of developing a personal navigation device for a visually impaired traveler. However, the device needed modifications to present the unique types of information someone who is visually impaired needs to travel independently.
To get Kapsys interested in spending their time and money to make the needed modifications, I sent Aram Hekimian, their founder and CEO, a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's book that includes the "match strike" concept. It worked.
It worked so well that just 14 months from the time I contacted Aram, we put the first Kapten PLUS Leader Dog Edition (a modified version of the Kapten PLUS GPS that is available only through Leader Dogs for the Blind) devices into the hands of our guide dog and orientation and mobility clients. The introduction of the Kapten PLUS is a giant step in our goal of putting location technology devices (of which GPS is one type) into the hands of hundreds and potentially thousands of people who are blind or visually impaired. See pages six through eight of this Update for more information on this program.
Everything we have done to improve the services we provide to our clients is made possible by you, our supporters, and this is a great time to thank you for helping us maintain our progress in our mission of enhancing the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired. I'd also like to thank Kapsys, a for-profit company, for understanding what we wanted to do and for stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run for our clients.
We are very excited about our advances in the area of location technology.
The Kapten PLUS is already generating a lot of buzz and the news is beginning to spread like wildfire. But we're not stopping there. Leader Dog believes that everyone has the right to travel independently—to go here, there, everywhere they desire. We're looking to turn a "match strike" into a revolution.
We hope you join us.