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LightHouse Blog

Masceo Williams serenades a camper at Enchanted Hills Camp.

Everything EHC Podcast: A Peek into our Camp’s Day-to-Day

Enchanted Hills Camp’s Enrichment Area Leader Masceo Williams is putting a fresh spin on Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, California through his new podcast, Everything EHC. “Years from now, I want people to be able to look back and see what we were doing in the past. There are so many interesting people here, and I want to be able to capture their stories through the podcast,” says Masceo (pronounced May-cee-o). Masceo, who is blind, got involved with camp in 2014 as the nature area leader and has continued being an active member of the EHC community. He started the ...
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The Robert S. Bray Award hangs on the wall at LightHouse. The wooden plaque reads, "Presented to The Jerry Kuns and Theresa Postello Media and Accessible Design Laboratory. In recognition of its work in the design and production of high quality tactile graphics, maps, accessible signage, educational material and artwork. July 5, 2017. Reno, NV. 

LightHouse’s MAD Lab Receives the Robert S. Bray Award for Innovation in Tactile Graphics

Last week, the American Council of the Blind awarded LightHouse’s Media and Accessible Design Lab with the Robert S. Bray Award for Media Excellence at the annual conference in Reno, Nevada. The Bray Award is given to a person or a company that has improved communication technology or devices, or expanded access to such devices for all blind people. Last year, the award was presented to LightHouse partner Apple for the company’s strides in accessibility and continued dedication to inclusion-based innovation for blind users. MAD Lab Alternative Media Specialist Frank Welte attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf ...
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music academy students

Our Blind Music Academy is Going on Tour in August and You’re Invited

In its fourth year, LightHouse’s summer Music Academy continues to grow and expand, literally. Each year, Music Academy culminates with a performance by blind students from all over the world. This time around the group will take the stage at Enchanted Hills’ brand new Redwood Grove Theater, which was completed this summer and features redwood benches made at camp by blind woodworker George Wurtzel. The students will also hit the road to perform at our headquarters in San Francisco.  Experience the power of Music Academy by joining us at one of these free concerts: Saturday, August 12 at 4:00 p.m. – Enchanted ...
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YES Academy Student Romesha Laird smiles while learning to use a white cane on Market Street.

YES Academy Week One: Cane skills, cooking and mock interviews

It’s been a lively week at LightHouse headquarters with our three-week Summer Youth Employment Series (YES) underway. The 10th and 11th floors have been warm with the chatter of blind and visually impaired youth attending four classes a day including orientation & mobility, technology, living skills and job readiness trainings. Many of the students at YES Academy are getting their first introductions to life skills like using a white cane, cooking, doing laundry, interviewing for jobs and volunteering. But it isn’t all work and no play. They also explored the city of San Francisco, including a ghost tour of Chinatown ...
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Penny Melville-Brown portrait

Meet Penny Melville-Brown: Blind Baker and Holman Prizewinner

The LightHouse for the Blind announces Penny Melville-Brown of “Baking Blind” as one of the first three winners of the Holman Prize. British Royal Navy veteran Penny Melville-Brown is not your average chef. First of all, she is, in fact, blind. But beyond that, Penny has a deep and unique understanding of food’s ability to break down cultural barriers and to connect people – blind and sighted alike – across the globe. Today, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco announces Penny as one of three winners of the 2017 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition, a brand-new ...
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Ojok stands with friends smiling, holding jars of honey

Meet Ojok Simon: Blind Beekeeper and Holman Prizewinner

‘Hive Uganda’ Founder plans to bring honey production and beekeeping training to blind and low vision communities of Uganda. Imagine tending a beehive – or a whole farm of bees – with hundreds of thousands of buzzing, pollen-loving insects crawling all over you, stingers at the ready. Now imagine doing it blind. Unimaginable for most, this is just a normal day for Ojok Simon. Today, Ojok became one of the three inaugural winners of the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition – an unprecedented $25,000 award for blind and low vision adventurers offered by the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually ...
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Meet Ahmet Ustunel: Blind Kayaker and Holman Prizewinner

The Holman Prize will fund Ahmet Ustunel’s kayak training and the development of a non-visual guidance system for navigating the waters of the Bosphorus Strait. Today Ahmet Ustunel, 37, a blind kayaker from San Francisco, was announced as one of the three inaugural winners of the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition – an unprecedented award for blind and low vision adventurers. The other winners are Penny Melville-Brown, an avid baker from the UK, and Ojok Simon, who is planning to build out a blind-led social enterprise for beekeepers in Uganda. Ahmet, who is fully blind, is not a professional adventurer ...
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LightHouse Announces Three Inaugural Holman Prizewinners

This fall, three exceptional blind individuals will set off around the world on adventures they never imagined possible as winners of The Holman Prize for Blind Ambition. Today, we are pleased to share their names with the world. The three winners, Ahmet Ustunel, Penny Melville-Brown, and Ojok Simon, were announced Thursday, June 29, 2017 after a rigorous judging process that narrowed down the applicants to eleven highly competitive finalists. Each winning project embodies its own sense of adventure and ambition – whether it takes the winners around the world or allows them to build and foster social impact in their immediate ...
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Volunteers Rochelle Quinney and her friends and family hold the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired banner.

#BeSeen in the Streets: Photos from Pride 2017

We’d like to express our gratitude to everyone who marched with us in San Francisco Pride on Sunday. Our contingent added up to more than 100 people. It was an empowering and joyful day and we’ve got the photos to show for it! ...
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picture of a piggy bank

Learn How to Save Money and Keep Your Benefits with the ABLE Account Program

Live today at LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired: A workshop about how to save money while still receiving benefits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpt4lEJIWtc Please join the FDIC, the World Institute on Disability, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Independent Living Resource Center in San Francisco for a Forum on Banking & Financial Stability for People with Disabilities. This is a presentation about economic empowerment and how individuals with disabilities can save money through the Cal ABLE account program ...
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