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2022 Holman Prize Semifinalists

Introducing This Year’s Holman Prize Semifinalists

Introducing This Year’s Holman Prize Semifinalists

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired San Francisco, and the Holman Prize team are thrilled to announce this year’s Holman Prize semifinalists! Each year the Holman Prize awards up to $25,000 each to three blind people with ideas that will challenge misconceptions about blindness worldwide. LightHouse thanks Waymo for their support of the Holman Prize for the second year.

This year, 37 contestants from 18 countries will advance to the next round of judging. Three of these bold, boundary-pushing, blind leaders will become a 2022 Holman Prizewinner. Which three will win? Continue to follow this year’s Holman Prize journey to find out!

2022 Holman Prize Semifinalists (in no particular order)

Click on each name to watch their YouTube pitch or watch the entire 2022 Holman Prize Semifinalists Playlist.

Emilee Schevers, age 20
Country: Canada
Proposal: “The Tru Faces of Change,” a social media campaign to bring awareness and positive social change for those with disabilities

Sunny Ezurike, age 52
Country: Portugal 
Proposal: Transcription of university textbooks into accessible formats for students in Nigeria who are blind or have low vision

Dennis Gallant, age 69
Country: United States
Proposal: A walk across the country on the America Discovery Trail with his guide dog

Gerda Oosthuizen, age 52
Country: South Africa
Proposal: Create and manufacture Velcro eye patches for people recovering from eye surgeries

Andrey Tikhonov, age 36
Country: Poland
Proposal: “Blind Power” will create conditioning and trainings, accessible workout books, and a sports camp for blind athletes

Philip Thorn, age 52
Country: New Zealand
Proposal: Create “Survivor to Thriver,” a mentorship and motivational service for those recovering from illnesses or accidents that have made them disabled

Kesah Princely, age 24
Country: Cameroon
Proposal: Blind Youth Leadership Development Program will provide blindness training and advocacy to youth in Cameroon who are blind or have low vision

Melaine Robinson, age 51
Country: Australia
Proposal: Create company “Have a dog? Can travel!” that will produce accessible multi-use luggage and traveling cases for service animals and people

Duel Adams, age 52
Country: United States
Proposal: Create a YouTube series, “Sensory Explorations with the Blind Traveler,” documenting different sensory experiences traveling the world

Greg Christie, age 69
Country: Scotland
Proposal: Turn Millport, Scotland into a VI-friendly tourist destination by creating an accessible mountain climbing trail as well as accessible signage and trail maps

Abby Griffith, age 28
Country: United States
Proposal: Empower blind and low vision youth of Ethiopia by providing Braille reading and writing devices to students at the school for the blind in Ethiopia

Paschal Baute, age 92
Country: United States
Proposal: Write and publish, “Guide for the Pursuit of Blind Ambition,” a book of interviews and stories from previous Holman Prizewinners to inspire and encourage other blind people

Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa, age 37
Country: Germany
Proposal: “Shining Star” will open recording studios in two African countries that will employ and train blind and low vision people to become radio and audio entertainers

Ernie Heredero, age 32
Country: Philippines
Proposal: Open a “Dining in the Dark” style restaurant in Palawan and employ all staff who are blind or have low vision.

Aaron George, age 31
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Proposal: Record seven studio albums and provide studio time, instrumental creation, mixing and mastering, social media marketing, website creation, photo shoots and music videos for blind artists

Sergei Panus, age 44
Country: Russia
Proposal: Create an app designed to teach blind people to speak English

Raquel Alim, age 38
Country: United States
Proposal: Empower, educate, and enhance the lives of individuals who are blind or have low vision  by creating art

Josh Tseng, age 24
Country: Singapore
Proposal: Produce an online video series “Blind Guy Tries Everything” that will document adventures and try as many things as possible that would be considered unfathomable for people who are blind or have low vision

Fiona Demark, age 45
Country: Australia
Proposal: Video series “Dougherty Dares Downunder,” will challenge blind perceptions by completing a series of dares and activities

Griffin Pinkow, age 29
Country: United States
Proposal: Create a ranch-style program for youth who are blind or have low vision ages 8 to 18 where they can participate in activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing and learning about nature

Keisha Bass, age 32
Country: United States
Proposal: Make clothing shopping accessible for the blind by creating descriptive labels in Braille, large print, and QR-coded accessible digital labels

Cassie Hames, age 32
Country: Australia
Proposal: Create “See Me,” a fully integrated app that communicates with bus drivers and notifies drivers of approaching bus stops, making independent travel on public transportation safer and more accessible for the blind

Pawan Ghimire, age 43
Country: Nepal
Proposal: Train girls who are blind or have low vision how to play cricket and host a tournament for blind cricket players.

Kaiya Armstrong, age 21
Country: United States
Proposal: Learn to fly an airplane and pilot a flight from Arizona to Washington D.C.

Patrick Sheridan O’Donnell, age 32
Country: United States
Proposal: Develop, research, and write a feature film script that will be directed and filmed by a blind filmmaker

Krystle Allen, age 38
Country: United States
Proposal: Hold a global search for the ultimate title holders for a pageant created for women who are blind or have low vision called the Ms. Blind Diva Empowerment Pageant

Parkhat Yussupjanov, age 38
Country: Kazakhstan
Proposal: Adopt Uyghur Braille script for blind Uyghurs in Central Asian Countries

Emiliano Lule, age 41
Country: Albania
Proposal: Change the old Russian Braille code and develop and implicate universal Braille code

Ben Fox, age 39
Country: United States
Proposal: Start a monthly online media and storytelling workshop specifically created for people who are blind or have low vision

Saksham Kumar, age 17 – The People’s Choice Semifinalist! Saksham received the most likes on his YouTube pitch.
Country: India
Proposal: Inform people about misconceptions of educating blind students in India and advocate for accessible solution such as blind students being able to write their own test answers instead of having to use a scribe.

Julie McGinnity, age 31
Country: United States
Proposal: Interview blind parents from all over the country and tell their stories in a published anthology with a blog and resource center online called the Blind Parents Collective

Courtney Cole, age 24
Country: United States
Proposal: Create an international documentary about people with disabilities travelling around the world

Jeanetta Price, age 44
Country: United States
Proposal: Hold “WRITE 2 HEAL: Take Back Your Name” seminars for blind writers, artists, and performers

Minh Ha, age 28
Country: United States
Proposal: Create tactile art and coloring books for adults and children who are blind or have low vision

Joshua Aveno and Madison Javier, ages 30
Country: United States
Proposal: “Fresh Access” will make farmers markets accessible for blind and low vision people

Oluwakemi Odusanya, age 29
Country: Nigeria
Proposal: Provide leadership training to women who are blind or have low vision in Nigeria

Flor Jimenez, age 46
Country: United States
Proposal: Promote and support adaptive sports for blind and low vision youth in Latin America

Stay up to date with announcements and follow the journeys and achievements of former Holman Prizewinners by following the Holman Prize on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.