Holman Prize for Blind Ambition

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The Holman Prize for blind ambition: silhouette of a man with a cane standing on mountain top at dusk.

The LightHouse for the Blind in San Francisco will award three legally blind adventurers/creators $25,000 through the Holman Prize.  The Holman Prize enables these winners to make their dreams become a reality and to demonstrate to others how visually impaired people can do anything that their sighted peers can do.

Last year's recipients included Ahmet Ustunel who is developing a non-visual kayak guidance system to help him kayak solo through Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, Penny Melville-Brown is taking her YouTube baking show to six continents and Ojok Simon is teaching his fellow Ugandans to become self-sustaining beekeepers.

Learn more about the top 10 2017 Holman Prize finalists and view their video applications here.

Application Process

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have documentation of their blindness.

  1. YouTube Video: The initial application is a 90-second YouTube video explaining how you will use the prize money to accomplish your goal.
  2. Written Comprehensive Application: A select group of semifinalists will submit in-depth written proposals.  
  3. Interview: Finalists will be interviewed by the LightHouse staff.

There is also a People's Choice option - the applicant with the most YouTube "likes" will be chosen as the People's Choice Finalist and will become a finalist for the Holman Prize. The People's Choice finalist must fulfill all of the same requirements.

Applications will be accepted beginning on January 16th at 5 PM PST.

Learn more about the application process and FAQ here.

James Holman

The Holman Prize is named after James Holman, the first blind person to circumnavigate the globe in the 1820s and was the most prolific traveler in history, sighted or blind, prior to the invention of modern transportation.

Learn more about James Holman here.

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