ASPIRE - Devices for the Disabled

$565 of $24,034 goal

Raised by 14 people in 13 months
  

Hi, my name is, Dan Thompson

I am attempting to help disabled individuals to become more employable, keep existing jobs and enhance independence and/or self-esteem

I am a retired totally blind Assistive Technology Teacher after working in the field for 30 years and using Assistive Technology since the 1970's.

 

Below is a list of items I am attempting to make available. 

Ten Victor Reader Treks stream New Generations: This is a GPS, book storage, and recording device all in one.

Cost $599.00 each, if, ordered before October. $700.00 if ordered after October.

Total cost of $5990.00 before October or 7,000.00 after October.

 

 

5 Blaze Ez Hand held digital recorder and scanner @ $600.00 each or $3,000.00

 Total.

 

Five Braille writers from Perkins School for the Blind:  $800.00 times five equals $4,000.00

 

Ten boxes of braille paper for $29.00 a box and $290.00 dollars for ten boxes.

 

Ten slate and styluses at $15.00 each or a total of $150.00.

 

Five laptops @ $700.00 each equals $3,500.00

 

I directly contact all recipients receiving equipment and provide one on one free training, and they must prove competency on the device before they may take their computer or assistive tech device home.  

 

Since I've started the ASPIRE Go Fund Me Campaign in May 2017, eleven individuals between ages 30 and 65 have now experienced fundamental changes in their lives.  Three who were afraid to leave their apartments are now exploring the neighborhood with the help of GPS devices designed specifically for blind and low vision persons.  The other seven are either volunteering in their community, have returned to taking college classes, or significantly gained new independence around their homes. 

Words will not express my gratitude for all those who were instrumental in making these dreams come true via financial or equipment donations.

 

I’ve been asked questions such as…

"why bother with those over 55, They should just retire and enjoy life.  They had their chance.”

And

 

"Isn't there a grant for that?"

"Perhaps you are trying to help the wrong people.  If they couldn’t make it in college or find a job, how can ASPIRE help."

 

 

My answer is both personal and conviction.

In 1973, I was told it would be a waste of state funding to send me to college. I was reaching for a dream totally out of my ability.

Fortunately, God blessed me with a wrestling coach, who installed a "never quit" attitude. The greatest power of encouragement in this world was my Wife who also never gave up on me.

Five years later, a new Rehab Counselor who believed in the impossible took a chance. College was finished with honors projects taken in every class.  Thirty-five years later, I am joyfully retired and trying to give back.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Dan, and his story as to why this is such a passion for him, make sure to check back soon, for a link that will take you to his story.

 

For now, please, think about how you might be able to help, and select from one of the donation choices.

 

Thanks for reading, and contributing, and Blessed may you be.

 

 

 



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Hi, if you'd like to read the rest of Dan's amazing story, and understand more of why, this is so important, please read...


https://www.gofundme.com/aspire-devices-for-the-disabled

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I now relize my original posted campaign proposal was way too long. I can not figure out how to change it on the site. Please consider reading this much shorter and to the point update regarding the campaign.
Since I've started the ASPIRE Go Fund Me Campaign in may 2017, , eleven individuals between ages 30 and 65 have now experienced serious changes in their lives. Three who were afraid to leave their apartments are now exploring the neighborhood with the help of GPS devices desing specifically for blind and low vision persons. The other seven are either volunteering in their community, have returned to taking college classes, or significantly gained new independence around their homes.
Words will not express my graditude for all those who were instrumental in making these dreams come true via financial or equipment donations.
I unfortunately have had some negative responses to this campaign. Comments ranged from
"why bother with those over 55, They should just retire and enjoy life. They had their chance."
"Isn't there a grant for that?"
"Perhaps you are trying to help the wrong people. If they couldn't manke it in college or find a job, how can ASPIRE help."

My anser is both personal and conviction.
In 1973 I was told it would be a waste of state funding to send me to college. I was reaching for a dream totally out of my ability.
Fortunately God blessed me with a wrestling coach in grade and high school who installed a "never quit" attitude. The greatest power of encourage ment in this world was my Wife who also never gave up on me.
Five years later, a new Rehab Counslor who believed in the impossible took a chance. College was finished with honors projects taken in every class. Thirty five years later, I am joyfully retired and trying to give back.

Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves and/or enjoy live to the highest level of their potential. Perhaps the right conditions were not in place or opportunities made available for a person to
"aspire" and do the impossible in their life.

As a youth and on into my adulthood, I confess to frequently wondering just how could I ever make any significant change that would matter much in this world? "It can not be done" was heard some many times, I even started believing it myself. My Mother, God Rest her soul, frequently said I was retarded and would only end up on public aide. As my faith matured and through occasional glances into the past, what was once a mystery to me has a new clarity. Perhaps God allowed life's climb to be challenging so when sharing my journey, it may encourage others to "ASPIRE" to success once considered out of their reach.
My volunteer work with adults of all ages now is dedicated to giving those who fel through the cracks or what some consider "over the hill" to have any aspirations a new chance. Just because someone over 50 doesn't have a vocational goal, gaining independence and self-esteem is still extremely important to them.

Even if someone couldn't jump through all those hoops for getting gainful employment, there may be hidden awesome potential in there. Disabled persons are still very "able!"

Please give my ASPIRE Campaign another look. Perhaps there's unused equipment you've tucked away or thought no one uses it anymore. It may be old. However, that same piece of equipment will provide a new portal to a world otherwise out of limits for a person who is blind or has low vision.
Any amount of funds will be put towards helping someone's dream of independence come true.
Be a visionary who brings renewed vision for a person's future.
"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:38)
Please consider visiting for the first time or revisiting my Go Fund Me Campaign.
Campaign link for go fund me
https://www.gofundme.com/aspire-devices-for-the-disabled
Thank you for your interest in my mission and for taking the time to read my proposal.
Dan Thompson
Below is a list of items I am still trying to make available.

The following:
Ten Victor Reader Trekks stream New Generations: This is a GPS, book storage, and recording device all all in one.
Cost $599.00 each is ordered before October. $700.00 if ordered after October.



5 Blaze Ez Hand held digital recorder and scanner @ $600.00 each or $3,000.00
Total.

Five Braille writers from Perkins School for the Blind: $800.00 times five equals $4,000.00

Ten boxes of braille paper for $29.00 a box and $290.00 dollars for ten boxes.

Ten slate and styluses at $15.00 each or a total of $150.00.

Five laptops @ $700.00 each equals $3,500.00

I directly contact all recipients receiving equipment and provide one on one free training, and they must prove competency on the device before they may take their computer home.
+ Read More
Go Fund Me update
Date: June 28 2017
As of today, the lives of six extremely greatful individuals have been changed in very positive ways.
Please forgive the extensive description of where funds are being used and where devices sent are being provided. I just want to keep the ASPIRE Go Fund Me Campaign very transparent. Also I wish to express my deep heart felt graditude for funds and equipment made possible by all of you who consider the project important enough to make a positive change in someone's life.
I give all glory and honor to my Lord Jesus for the success of the Campaign so far and to it's completion.to this dae.


Out of the 20 VictorStream Devices I was hoping to obtain, three have arrived. One was baught with GFM funds and the other two donated. Names of doners have been left out for reasons of confidentiality. I do include first names of individuals who have received devices and a brief story in order to let everyone know their Generosity is genuinely appreciated.
At the end of this update, I am including equipment still needed.

The second Generation VictorStream mentioned above has built in WIFI which allows users to download books from the National Library Service, (NLS.)
One of the three VictorStream Second Generation Devices donated as of today has been given to a (totally blind gentleman going back to college on his own in Kansas at the age of 30. He is extremely excited to have received one of these for taking notes, saving class handouts and much more.)
Another one is being sent to Ghana to a blind Foreign Exchange student I had a few years ago. He is trying to make it through college along with helping the family farm land for growing yams. This is the family's main source of income. Isaac works several hours a day helping in hoeing and planting by hand in the field.
Isaac, his brother and sister along with Mom and Dad live in a clay brick small house built by hand, with very little of any modern conveniences. Personally, I am amazed how he walks to the nearby town, a few miles, every day with an old laptop and very old VictorStream One. Several times there has been attempts to steal the technology by roadside thieves. The Victorstream now does not work and the computer was finally stolen and broken. However, against all odds, Isaac keeps going. God's hand is most certainly with this family.

The third VictorStream Second Generation is going to a 50 year old totally blind gentleman who lost his sight as a result of diabetes. Hearing his excitement and gratitude when shown the device and taught was priceless. I have been teaching him on my own VictorStream until the one donated arrives.

A Pac Mate QWERT OMNI was donated and is being given to a blind senior citizen for maintaining his job at an Independent living center.
For those who have not heard of such a device, this is like a laptop without a screen. The user is given feedback via speech. This is like a Laptop without a screen
The Pac Mate OMNI has been given to a totally blind senior citizen to continue his job advising and helping other disabled individuals gane independence at a local independent living center.

One VictorStream first generation also called "VictorStream One" was donated.
These are used for recording events or notes, reading National Library Service Digital books (NLS.)and
Reading articles or books in text format with Synthesized speech. This version does not have WIFI capabilities.
(A 61 year old gentleman with very low vision had one of these that quit working a year ago. He used it for recording recipes, mail readers covered with him, used to read books with his Grand-daughter and much more. For the last year he used other people to help take down personal communication, and other work arounds for the other tasks. The VictorStream replacement is truly a blessing.)

Another kind lady donated
One Handi-cassette Recorder with a speech compression feature from the Marican Printing House for the Blind, (APH) This is being put in the hands of a 60 year old gentlemen with failing vision at a very quick rate. He feels much more comfortable using the "Vintage" stuff. I am providing him with several old time radio programs and books on cassette. Another friend reads the local newspaper and personal mail on the cassette recorder as well.

Other equipment provided that has not arrived or not given to anyone yet is included below

One Walkman cd player
One Trekker Breeze (This is a talking GPS system for the blind.)
One Street Talk GPS system for the OMNI Pac Mate line of note takers
Three sets of headphones

Below is a list of devices I am hoping to obtain through Go Fund Me Funds or anyone willing to send the actual device.
After this list is the original ASPIRE Campaing posting sent out in May.
Once again, Thank you very much for taking time out of your already busy day to read this information.
Please consider the ASPIRE Campaign to donate funds or equipment if you wish to buy it and then send it.
My home address is
136 West Chambers
Jacksonville Il. 62650

Here is the list of items still needed.

I am requesting funds to purchase the following assistive devices/technology for persons that are blind or who have low vision.

20 - Victor Reader Stream (New Generation) devices from www.humanware.com. This will allow a person to record classes, meetings, personal communications, or recipes, read books or copy a Microsoft Word document into the device so it can be read with easy to understand Synthetic speech.
This device costs $32900 when paid for by check or cash. Paying by credit card or debit moves the price up to around $400.00 each.

Out of the original 20 VictorStreams I hoped to get, three have been provided. So 17 are still needed.
This ammounts to $5593.00.

5 Trekker Breeze GPS systems from www.humanware.com. This device costs $900.00.
5 @ $900.00 = $4,500.00.
There is one coming in the mail someone has so very kindly donated.

5 Braille Writers from Perkins School for the Blind ( www.perkins.org) which cost $800.00 each.
5 @ $800.00 = $4,000.00.

10 boxes of Braille paper from Perkins School for the Blind ( www.perkins.org) which cost $29.00 a box.
10 @ $29.00 = $290.00.

5 laptop computers equipped with adaptive software costing $700.00 each.
5 @ $700.00 = $3,500.00.
These will be used in a class tilted "making computers fun" at our local independent living center.
5 Blaze EZ OCR Multi Player - Handheld Talking Scanner which cost $600.00 each.
5 @ $600.00 = $3,000.00

Software to keep devices up to date: $1,150.00


I directly contact all recipients receiving equipment and provide one on one free training and they must prove competency on the device before they may take their computer or device home. If the recipient has limited word processing knowledge and/or internet experience, I work with them via phone or go to their homes at no cost, to help them develop confidence using a computer and assistive technology. It is truly a reward to hear the excitement in their voices and improved attitudes with the achievement of each new skill.

While I receive no pay, my payment is the joy in their voices and new found confidence. All glory is given to God and not to me.
May the peace of our Lord Jesus be with all of you.

+ Read More
Go Fund Me update
Date: June 28 2017
As of today, the lives of six extremely greatful individuals have been changed in very positive ways.
Please forgive the extensive description of where funds are being used and where devices sent are being provided. I just want to keep the ASPIRE Go Fund Me Campaign very transparent. Also I wish to express my deep heart felt graditude for funds and equipment made possible by all of you who consider the project important enough to make a positive change in someone's life.
I give all glory and honor to my Lord Jesus for the success of the Campaign so far and to it's completion.to this dae.


Out of the 20 VictorStream Devices I was hoping to obtain, three have arrived. One was baught with GFM funds and the other two donated. Names of doners have been left out for reasons of confidentiality. I do include first names of individuals who have received devices and a brief story in order to let everyone know their Generosity is genuinely appreciated.
At the end of this update, I am including equipment still needed.

The second Generation VictorStream mentioned above has built in WIFI which allows users to download books from the National Library Service, (NLS.)
One of the three VictorStream Second Generation Devices donated as of today has been given to a (totally blind gentleman going back to college on his own in Kansas at the age of 30. He is extremely excited to have received one of these for taking notes, saving class handouts and much more.)
Another one is being sent to Ghana to a blind Foreign Exchange student I had a few years ago. He is trying to make it through college along with helping the family farm land for growing yams. This is the family's main source of income. Isaac works several hours a day helping in hoeing and planting by hand in the field.
Isaac, his brother and sister along with Mom and Dad live in a clay brick small house built by hand, with very little of any modern conveniences. Personally, I am amazed how he walks to the nearby town, a few miles, every day with an old laptop and very old VictorStream One. Several times there has been attempts to steal the technology by roadside thieves. The Victorstream now does not work and the computer was finally stolen and broken. However, against all odds, Isaac keeps going. God's hand is most certainly with this family.

The third VictorStream Second Generation is going to a 50 year old totally blind gentleman who lost his sight as a result of diabetes. Hearing his excitement and gratitude when shown the device and taught was priceless. I have been teaching him on my own VictorStream until the one donated arrives.

A Pac Mate QWERT OMNI was donated and is being given to a blind senior citizen for maintaining his job at an Independent living center.
For those who have not heard of such a device, this is like a laptop without a screen. The user is given feedback via speech. This is like a Laptop without a screen
The Pac Mate OMNI has been given to a totally blind senior citizen to continue his job advising and helping other disabled individuals gane independence at a local independent living center.

One VictorStream first generation also called "VictorStream One" was donated.
These are used for recording events or notes, reading National Library Service Digital books (NLS.)and
Reading articles or books in text format with Synthesized speech. This version does not have WIFI capabilities.
(A 61 year old gentleman with very low vision had one of these that quit working a year ago. He used it for recording recipes, mail readers covered with him, used to read books with his Grand-daughter and much more. For the last year he used other people to help take down personal communication, and other work arounds for the other tasks. The VictorStream replacement is truly a blessing.)

Another kind lady donated
One Handi-cassette Recorder with a speech compression feature from the Marican Printing House for the Blind, (APH) This is being put in the hands of a 60 year old gentlemen with failing vision at a very quick rate. He feels much more comfortable using the "Vintage" stuff. I am providing him with several old time radio programs and books on cassette. Another friend reads the local newspaper and personal mail on the cassette recorder as well.

Other equipment provided that has not arrived or not given to anyone yet is included below

One Walkman cd player
One Trekker Breeze (This is a talking GPS system for the blind.)
One Street Talk GPS system for the OMNI Pac Mate line of note takers
Three sets of headphones

Below is a list of devices I am hoping to obtain through Go Fund Me Funds or anyone willing to send the actual device.
After this list is the original ASPIRE Campaing posting sent out in May.
Once again, Thank you very much for taking time out of your already busy day to read this information.
Please consider the ASPIRE Campaign to donate funds or equipment if you wish to buy it and then send it.
My home address is
136 West Chambers
Jacksonville Il. 62650

Here is the list of items still needed.

I am requesting funds to purchase the following assistive devices/technology for persons that are blind or who have low vision.

20 - Victor Reader Stream (New Generation) devices from www.humanware.com. This will allow a person to record classes, meetings, personal communications, or recipes, read books or copy a Microsoft Word document into the device so it can be read with easy to understand Synthetic speech.
This device costs $32900 when paid for by check or cash. Paying by credit card or debit moves the price up to around $400.00 each.

Out of the original 20 VictorStreams I hoped to get, three have been provided. So 17 are still needed.
This ammounts to $5593.00.

5 Trekker Breeze GPS systems from www.humanware.com. This device costs $900.00.
5 @ $900.00 = $4,500.00.
There is one coming in the mail someone has so very kindly donated.

5 Braille Writers from Perkins School for the Blind ( www.perkins.org) which cost $800.00 each.
5 @ $800.00 = $4,000.00.

10 boxes of Braille paper from Perkins School for the Blind ( www.perkins.org) which cost $29.00 a box.
10 @ $29.00 = $290.00.

5 laptop computers equipped with adaptive software costing $700.00 each.
5 @ $700.00 = $3,500.00.
These will be used in a class tilted "making computers fun" at our local independent living center.
5 Blaze EZ OCR Multi Player - Handheld Talking Scanner which cost $600.00 each.
5 @ $600.00 = $3,000.00

Software to keep devices up to date: $1,150.00


I directly contact all recipients receiving equipment and provide one on one free training and they must prove competency on the device before they may take their computer or device home. If the recipient has limited word processing knowledge and/or internet experience, I work with them via phone or go to their homes at no cost, to help them develop confidence using a computer and assistive technology. It is truly a reward to hear the excitement in their voices and improved attitudes with the achievement of each new skill.

While I receive no pay, my payment is the joy in their voices and new found confidence. All glory is given to God and not to me.
Please visit my Go Fund Me page where a detailed explanation of ASPIRE is provided.
May the peace of our Lord be with all of you.

+ Read More
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$565 of $24,034 goal

Raised by 14 people in 13 months
Created May 12, 2017
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$25
Anonymous
11 months ago
PH
$10
Patricia Hamilton
12 months ago

Good luck with your venture! Thus is agreat thing to do! God bless. ❤️

$25
Leanne Cherry
13 months ago

Great work, Dan! To God be the glory!

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