Leader Dog announces new navigation technology for the blind

In 2005 Leader Dogs for the Blind became the first guide dog organization to provide GPS training to people while they also used a cane or a guide dog. On Tuesday, May 24, 10:00 a.m. Leader Dogs for the Blind will launch a new personal navigation device that will dramatically increase a blind or visually impaired person’s ability to travel on foot independently.  The new Kapten PLUS unit creates the first truly affordable GPS solution tailored for the blind, at a price of only $295, compared to earlier costs in the thousands of dollars. The device will be offered at no cost to all Leader Dog clients. It will also be available to other blind and visually impaired persons through its online gift shop, www.leaderdog.org.

After intensive early development activity, Leader Dog clients begin testing the Kapten PLUS a year ago. This past March, Kapten PLUS units were used and distributed for free in guide dog instruction as well as orientation and mobility classes at Leader Dog.

Leader Dogs for the Blind believes that everyone has the right to travel independently—to go here, there, everywhere they desire. But without the benefit of street signs or printed maps to help get them where they want to go, people who are blind may be isolated and frequently required to rely on others to help them with directions.

“Kapsys is extremely pleased to collaborate with Leader Dog, as a worldwide leader in navigation solutions for the blind, to provide a number of technologies embedded in the Kapten PLUS after years of intense development,” said Aram Hekimian, CEO and founder of Kapsys. “This project serves as a great example of how such a social device can provide mobility to the blind and visually impaired community that we are pleased to design for.”

Leader Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit organization that has been providing independent travel to people who are blind through the use of Leader Dogs since its founding in 1939.  Over the years, Leader Dogs for the Blind has provided independent mobility to more than 14,000 individuals. The services of the organization are provided free of charge. The organization also provides classes for orientation and mobility, pedestrian GPS and a summer camp for teens. For more information on Leader Dogs for the Blind, call (888) 777-5332 or visit www.leaderdog.org.

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