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Max the Virtual Guidedog's real life namesake
Max the Virtual Guidedog's real life namesake.

Meet Max, the Virtual Guidedog

Max is a real, assistive device for those that are visually impaired, totally blind, print impaired, or mobility impaired so all enjoy the Immersive Internet.

MISSION

The mission of the Virtual Guidedog project is to ensure that those who unable to use standard interfaces have equal access to the virtual worlds (for example, those who are visually impaired, totally blind, print impaired, or mobility impaired).

VISION

The vision is to develop assistive devices and enhancements to open source client interfaces that assist those that cannot easily utilize or navigate.

OVERVIEW

Max the Virtual Guidedog
According to the World Health Organization:

Virtual Worlds offer a true sense of community and are great places to share good times, information, and resources. As this new technology grows in popularity, it is important that we consider how those that are disabled may be excluded from opportunities in education, business and social interaction.

We are at the "Stone Soup" stage in our project. In the story of "Stone Soup," A traveler builds a campfire in the marketplace and puts on a big pot of water to boil. He has nothing to eat-so he puts stones in the pot to stir the curiosity of the villagers. One by one, the townspeople come out of their houses and add vegetables, seasonings, and meat until there is a delicious soup for all to share. We've got the water boiling-what and we welcome the collaboration with anyone that wants to help us take up the mission of inclusion of those that are disabled.

While Max has a specific purpose as an assistive device within second life we are also identifying what features of the Second Life™ client need customizing so that these options can be available to people with various disabilities. We have come a long way in developing Max and also in developing a client interface with features that speak to the user.

We believe in the words of Helen Keller:
"Many people have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained trough self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose"

If Helen Keller were alive today, we hope she'd be on our team to help develop and test assistive tools like Max, the Virtual Guide Dog and an accessible client so she and others can work, learn and socialize in Second Life.

Virtual Helping Hands, Inc. is a Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt Organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Your donation is deductible as a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes in the United States.