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. The Holman Prize was named after a man, but it is motivated by the work we do with all kinds of people every day. The LightHouse supports jobseekers, and challenges students and community members to set expectations high, breaking old stereotypes of blindness.
The recent recipient of the most historic philanthropic bequest in the history of blindness, the LightHouse has a mandate to take our mission beyond our seven locations in Northern California. We see a past, present and future where everyone is connected – and that includes those who identify as blind. We live in the sighted world and participate the same way as our sighted peers. The Holman Prize is not only about individual dreams, but raising the collective ambition of the blind community to unprecedented heights.
More about LightHouse for the Blind
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.
With a beautiful, brand new high-rise headquarters in the heart of downtown San Francisco, we pride ourselves on offering the cutting edge of all things related to blindness. Whether you want to learn how to use your new iPhone, make the perfect omelette, travel across the country or learn how to access a half million books and newspapers, we’ve got a class and a trainer for you. On any given day, you’ll find students in SF training on accessible technology, engaging in mentoring and community-oriented projects and workshops, or getting out of the city to explore nature, go to conferences, or just go have fun.
We make maps that you can read without your eyes, and we outfit world-class museums to ensure that everyone can enjoy them. At our historic camp and retreat in the rolling hills of Napa County, we offer science and math camps for blind kids, teach accessible horseback riding and music instruction, and host families and individuals of all ages and backgrounds. People come from all parts of California — and dozens of countries around the world — to take advantage of what the LightHouse has to offer.
In addition to San Francisco and Napa, we offer regular classes of varying length and content in Eureka, San Rafael, and Berkeley. Each location has its own personality and service offerings, and people come from all around the state to take advantage of different curricula and instructors. When getting to know our programs, we can work with you to customize your experience based not only on where you live, but what you want to learn.
We also operate a large light manufacturing plant and mixed-use space in San Leandro where blind and sighted employees work together in various for-profit business ventures with an increasingly-expanded service base.