Bryan Bashin

The LightHouse for the Blind has received a bequest of $125 million from a man they had never heard of, who had no contact with the organization. The gift is more than 15 times the annual budget of the San Francisco nonprofit, which serves the blind and visually impaired. LightHouse executive director Bryan Bashin joins Forum to discuss what the windfall may mean for the organization and for his quest to remove the stigma surrounding blindness.

Bryan Bashin, executive director of LightHouse for the Blind

  • Ethan Ramirez


  • Judy Bertelsen

    My uncle, a resident of San Francisco, became blind as an adult. He was an engineer and was retrained so that he could take apart, clean, and reassemble pieces of mechanical equipment. Once when my uncle and my mother (his sister) were walking along a sidewalk in S.F., a person came up to them to ask how to get to a destination. My uncle gave detailed walking directions (such as “go down this street 2 blocks, then turn right and go another block, then turn left…” The man thanked him and went on his way. My uncle got a big kick out of the fact that the man had no idea he was being given directions by a blind man.

  • SF Mama

    I grew up in a town that had a training school for dogs for people with blindness (Leader Dog for the Blind in Rochester Michigan). My mother never donated money to anything except to this school. We saw first hand the good work that they did with training people with blindness with the assistance of their guide dogs.

  • Marcella Murphy

    book recommendation:

    For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World..

    Rosemary Mahoney.

  • Kriz Brown

    Amazing! I can’t imagine this happening to a better organization.

  • Andrea Plesnarski

    Great interview absolutely loved it. The first time I really got how hard it must be and how things can be adapted was seeing a bottle of wine in the store that had a braille label. There are so many simple ways to make sure that everyone has access. It just requires a little thought from people who don’t have the same issues. Adding simple tags in web pages for example can allow page reader plugins to make web pages accessible — it takes a web coder just a little more effort. In general though only pages for government sites are required to comply.

  • Ahavah Bronstein

    Lessons in Life This last two weeks I been having health issues with my eyes and I sat down and thought what if I lose my eyesight what happens then ? , What will I miss and how will I be able to handle this. It brought on a whole new perspective of what life is about and who I am. The best part about this revelation was that I would survive and I found many more positives out of the situation then negatives.

    Yes, I would miss some of the most precious experiences that sight has given me,but I would see a new world from a inside perspective. I would also gain a incredible new community to help me through my journey, and I would find a new world to learn from. This life is about the experiences we get, good and bad and being blind is not as bad as some of the experience I live with that I visually had to see and experience.

    Its amazing when we look within to see what it would be like to not have something.

    So I say to everyone take a moment and close your eyes and image your world with no sight , not just for the moment but as a life challenge and see what your inner world is really about, you may find there is a light within, then be grateful for the things that really matter like the expressions of your children face or the moment that life shows her finest qualities in color and form

    Then be Grateful for what really matters. and “Thank You” to the Mysterious Donor who saw there is Hope even in the darkness.

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