The Holman Prize
for blind ambition

The Holman Prize is not meant to save the world or congratulate someone for leaving the house. This prize will spark unanticipated accomplishments in the blindness community. You will see blind people doing things that surprise and perhaps even confuse you. These new LightHouse prizes will change perceptions about what blind people are capable of doing.
— Bryan Bashin, CEO at LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

With 2017 as its pilot year, the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind has designed The Holman Prize to support emerging adventurousness and the can-do spirit of blind and low vision people worldwide. This endeavor celebrates people who want to shape their own future instead of having it laid out for them.
 
Created specifically for legally blind individuals with a penchant for exploration of all types, LightHouse’s initial 2017 prizes will provide financial backing for a as many as three individuals to explore the world and push their limits through travel, connections, construction and communication.
 
The ideal candidate is someone who is willing to probe their environment and eager to savor the richness of a world that is so often thought of as inaccessible to the blind. This exploration may involve travel, community organizing, scholarship, daring art or projects we haven’t even considered.
 
In January, the contest begins with a challenge: blind applicants must submit a first-round pitch, in the form of a 90-second YouTube video.
 
“We recognize that asking a blind person to upload a video may challenge some people’s ideas of what blind people are capable of — of what blind people can or should do,“ says LightHouse CEO Bryan Bashin, “The video uploading and later public speaking will certainly require creativity, and these are the qualities we seek to encourage with the Holman Prize. These are the types of people we want to apply.”
 
Finalists will be notified in March and go through a formal application process, after which a winner will be selected by a committee of leaders, thinkers and explorers from throughout the blind world. We expect the Holman Prizewinners to start their projects in Fall 2017 and they will be recognized at the Holman Prize Gala in October 2018.