My Blind Spot is competing with other organizations and individuals for the $25,000 Holman Prize. The Light House for the Blind and Visually Impaired started the Holman Prize to “support emerging adventurousness and the can-do spirit of blind and low vision people worldwide.” Please take a moment now to enjoy the video we created to support our application for the prize. After that, give it the “thumbs up” to help us get to the next round of the competition and please invite all your friends, colleagues, and families to vote as well.

Once MBS wins the Holman prize, we will use the funds to train and mentor blind and print disabled individuals to become internationally certified accessibility and usability testers. We want to create career paths for people of all abilities but specifically this group of individuals who have been traditionally marginalized and disenfranchised — the blind and low vision community. MBS AccessAbility testers are on the front lines of the digital equity battle. They assess websites and other digital platforms to ensure compliance with federal regulations governing digital inclusion namely the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other relevant state and international laws. MBS AccessAbility testers and accessibility professionals provide recommended corrective action plans for organizations so they can comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law.

The training program that MBS offers is important for two reasons. First, websites and other digital platforms for organizations of all sizes and types are simply inaccessible to a large cohort of the public. There are nearly 25 million people in the United States living with a severe visual impairment. Blind and low vision people can’t access and navigate the digital world in a way that sighted people take for granted. More MBS AccessAbility testers means more people have more access to more digital spaces. In the 21st century, this is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Second, the program offers the opportunity for meaningful work and a paycheck. Over 70 percent of blind and low vision people are not employed full-time. Many are on public assistance simply because they cannot see as well as some other people. It’s certainly not because they lack motivation or the intellectual capacity. When given the correct tools and training, people who are blind or severely visually impaired can provide value to any organization. This certification brings them one-step closer to contributing more to society and achieving the fulfillment that comes with a paycheck that is earned.

Winning the Holman Prize is not only formal recognition of the work that My Blind Spot is doing every day. In a very real way, these resources will provide MBS the ability to ensure opportunities of employment, equal access, and usability of digital platforms for millions of people across the country

Please take a moment and learn more about our certification program and like the video.