[NFBC-Info] LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Announces 2020 Holman Prize Finalists.

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired lhnews at lighthouse-sf.org
Wed May 27 16:35:29 UTC 2020

Lee Kumutat, Director of Communications, email: lkumutat at lighthouse-sf.org
Phone: +1-415-812-5384
Christina Daniels, Holman Prize Coordinator, email: cdaniels at lighthouse-sf.org
Phone: +1-415-694-7315 or
press at lighthouse-sf.org


LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Announces 2020 Holman Prize Finalists.

San Francisco, CA (May 22, 2020) LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is pleased to announce 16 finalists for the fourth annual Holman Prize for Blind Ambition.

Founded in 2017, the Holman Prize is an international competition for people who are blind or have low vision to push their limits and challenge perceptions of blindness worldwide. It’s named for James Holman, a nineteenth century blind explorer, who was the most prolific private traveler before the era of modern transportation. Each year three winners receive up to $25,000 to carry out their adventure.

The 16 finalists hail from thirteen countries across four continents, making this the most geographically diverse set of finalists in the Holman Prize’s four-year history. Their ideas encompass a variety of fields from social entrepreneurship, to athletics, to medicine.

Of the hundreds of applicants to the Holman Prize, one finalist spot is reserved for the People’s Choice Award, guaranteeing the applicant a spot among finalists.  This year’s goes to Juan Andrés Martín from Spain.  If Mr. Martin wins The Holman Prize, he would develop the first line of motion research led by blind people in healthcare and neuroscience in the world. His YouTube video pitch notched up 1,600 likes.

Next month, the Holman Committee, composed entirely of distinguished blind jurors from around the world, will meet to judge and select the three winners for 2020. The Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco will announce the Holman Prize winners this July.

To watch the video proposals from the 16 finalists Please view the YouTube playlist. Press interviewing any Holman finalists are welcome to contact them through the Lighthouse press office at press at lighthouse-sf.org.


Notes for Editors
Founded in 1902, the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is one of the largest blindness organizations in North America and promotes the independence, equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or have low vision.

For more information on the Holman Prize, visit holmanprize.org.

See below for a complete list of finalists, including locations.

2020 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition Finalists List

Željko Bajić (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) would create an online journalism academy for blind people to host podcasts, share their life experiences and exchange ideas.

Gina Rose Balanlay (Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines) would provide leadership training to blind women in rural parts of the Philippines.

Tiffany Brar (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) would provide accessible technology training to the rural and tribal communities of south India.

Jesse Dufton (Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK) would climb a selection of rock and ice climbs in North and South America.

Matteo Fanchini (Arona, Piemont, Italy) would create a ski school in the Italian Alps for blind skiers and their guides.

Javier García Pajares (Madrid, Spain) would use the Holman Prize to climb the highest mountains on each continent.

Angela Gu (Zhuhai, Guangdong, China) would promote better employment opportunities for blind and low vision people in China.

Dev Datta Joshi (Kathmandu, Bagmati, Nepal) would develop resources for blind people in Nepal to learn science, technology, engineering and math.

Hannalora Leavitt (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) would create a documentary called “Hats off to Our Heroes” where she would highlight notable people and places in blindness history.

Emiliano Lule (Tirana, Albania) would unify the braille code for all Albanian speaking regions.

Sadaya Marathe (Turner, Australian Capital Territory, Australia) would start a podcast where she interviewed fellow adventurous blind people.

Juan Andrés Martín (Madrid, Spain), the People’s Choice finalist, would develop the first line of motion led by blind people in healthcare and neuroscience in the world.

Tyler Merren (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA) would develop ReVision Fitness, an audio fitness app that provides descriptive information for blind people.

Peter Ryan (Tipperary, Ireland) would compete in Cape Epic, and eight-day mountain biking race in South Africa.

Birendra Raj Sharma Pokharel (Patan, Bagmati, Nepal) would train blind women to perform tactile breast examinations in Nepal.

Roberto Torrez (Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA) would provide scholarships and promote employment opportunities for blind Nicaraguans.



Our offices have had to close for now, but LightHouse is still very much open. Online assistive technology training, virtual socializing and community health and wellbeing classes are just a few of the sessions for which you can sign up. Visit our events calendar often to find out what’s on: lighthouse-sf.org/calendar<https://lighthouse-sf.org/calendar>

And give what you can to help us provide these crucial services by filling out the secure form on our donations page at: lighthouse-sf.org/donate<https://lighthouse-sf.org/donate>

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