Here, There Everywhere
Introducing the Kapten PLUS personal navigation device
The Kapten PLUS is changing lives
The Kapten PLUS is a powerful tool in the hands of a person who is blind. Following are just a few stories of how this GPS device is helping to change lives by enhancing travel independence.
Mytchiko (Mi-chi-ko) is a 20-year-old college sophomore who will receive her first Leader Dog in May 2011. She currently lives with her adoptive parents and several beloved pets in McComb, Miss. Maintaining a busy, productive lifestyle is important to Mytchiko. Not only is she a member of her college’s marching band, she also participates in local beauty pageants and events sponsored by the McComb Lions Club. A Kapten Plus GPS unit will assist Mytchiko in her future goals of obtaining a dual PhD in social work and religious studies by helping her navigate college campuses and cityscapes. A Kapten Plus will also help Mytchiko provide rehabilitation training to wounded combat soldiers as an ordained military chaplain.
James is a 26-year-old college graduate who will return to Leader Dog this May for his second guide dog. James was paired with his first Leader Dog, Scout, in 2004. This summer, he will graduate from the Notre Dame Law School and pursue a career in the halls of justice as a lawyer. Jim feels that having a Leader Dog made a fundamental difference in his college years and looks forward to using a Kapten Plus GPS unit to locate courthouses in New York, Detroit and Chicago.
Jack is returning to Leader Dog’s campus this May for his second guide dog. He received his first Leader Dog, Wheaties, in 2001. Since their graduation, Jack and Wheaties have traveled to 44 countries, 38 of the United States and logged over 300 airplane flights and 149 sea days. Jack is also a Lion and oversees Lions Club activities as Leader Dog Chair for District 35-I in Florida. A Kapten Plus GPS unit will ensure Jack reaches his goal of visiting all 50 United States and several more countries during future travel adventures. It will also keep him on track when attending Lions Club meetings and events.
Sandra is a 41-year-old mother of two from the small town of Lexington, Va. She was referred to Leader Dog by her orientation and mobility instructor and will receive her first dog in May 2011. Although Sandra plans on using a guide dog to one day pursue a PhD in psychology, she will use her Kapten Plus GPS unit to go to her local grocery store three times a week and her favorite coffee house each morning. Her Kapten Plus will also help her travel to NASCAR events, which are a favorite pastime for her and her husband.
Ruth Smith: “I can see me using the Kapten a lot because I travel a lot. I like to ask people for directions, but it’s not always feasible. There are times when I’ve been dropped off at a Greyhound bus station and there is no one there to ask for directions. This is where a GPS can really help me. Also, everyone doesn’t give good directions, which can make it especially hard to get around a new city. Most people in the South where I’m from are pointers when they give directions—the Kapten will save me from the pointers. By comparison, blind people give excellent directions like, ‘Go five streets and in the middle of the block you’ll find what you’re looking for,’ because we are used to having to count streets when we are going somewhere. However, there are times when I’m walking and talking with someone or when I am thinking about something that makes me lose count of the number of streets I have walked. The GPS will certainly help in that situation also.”