The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco is one of the United States’ preeminent blindness institutions and is responsible for conceiving, designing and presenting The Holman Prize for Blind Ambition. Founded in 1902, San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired promotes the independence, equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or have low vision. We offer blindness skills training and relevant services such as access to employment, education, government, information, recreation, transportation and the environment. We also pursue the development of new technology, encourage innovation, and amplify the voices of blind individuals around the world.

The Holman Prize was designed to support the growth of adventurous spirits, entrepreneurship and leadership within the blind community, in any form it may present itself. From personal-growth goals like climbing mountains or traveling the world independently, to providing education and training to underprivileged blind individuals. The goal for our applicants and winners is not just to push boundaries and live life outside of the “blind box” but to eliminate the box altogether. Holman Prize winners challenge and change the common cultural misconceptions of what it means to be a blind person.

Sonokids (est. 2000) aims to empower and connect people through technology, regardless of culture, language and disability. Digital technology provides an opportunity for everyone to participate equally and inclusively, regardless of a disability, and to achieve goals and dreams. Digital skills are essential for education, social life, and (future) employment. Sonokids ‘Ballyland’ is an acclaimed suite of accessible, educational software and apps that support students who are blind or visually impaired to learn essential technology and digital skills while playing a game. The Ballyland characters are ball-shaped and each have their signature sound and particular way of moving around. One of the Ballylanders is out in space: her name is CosmoBally. As a 3D printed model, CosmoBally travelled along during part of the AstroHunters project. ‘Ballyland CosmoBally in Space’ is an interactive app introducing students to the solar system by way of CosmoBally and her friends in Ballyland. This free app is available for iOS and Android. Sonokids Ballyland received the global 2020 Zero Project Award for innovation in
inclusive education. Visit the Sonokids website on for all information on the full suite of Ballyland educational apps, software and 3D printed learning tools.