Program Lead, Recreation, Sport and Accessible Community Engagement

Opening date
Closing date
Ontario North
Thunder Bay
Job description

This position will lead and empower integrated teams of staff and volunteers to deliver programs and services that change the lives of Canadians who are blind. Specifically, the Program Lead will be responsible for developing and implementing CNIB Foundation Recreation and Sport programming, along with leading local and Regional Advocacy and community inclusion initiatives. The Program Lead will adhere to national service standards while maximizing positive experiences and outcomes for participants.


Main Responsibilities

In this role, you will Change what it is to be blind today by:

Creating and leading an amazing team:

  • You will recruit, train, engage and actively manage an integrated team of staff and volunteers who will be accountable for recreation and sport programs, and advocacy and accessibility initiatives, for people who are blind or partially-sighted
  • You will develop and foster an inclusive, empowered culture where every team member – staff and volunteer – feels their contributions towards our mission are equally valued and respected
  • You will lead by example in bringing our values to life – pushing your team to work with passion, determination, ambition and a positive spirit to change people’s lives, and society itself
  • You will help make CNIB the organization of choice for volunteers – promoting our commitment to volunteer engagement at every opportunity and developing the active volunteer base needed to support local operations.

Developing, delivering and monitoring best-in-class programs:

  • You will develop implementation plans to maximize the success of recreation and sport programming in your local market including the growth of existing CNIB programs, working within national service delivery standards and program curricula.
  • You will lead local and Regional Advocacy and community inclusion initiatives.
  • You will lead and manage outcome evaluation processes for recreation, sport, advocacy and inclusion programs and initiatives in your region, using a national framework.
  • You will constantly seek opportunities to improve service delivery metrics and participant outcomes, leveraging available evaluation data for your region.
  • You will keep abreast of best practices and new developments in programming for people who are blind, and proactively bring forward ideas on how to improve all aspects of the work we do. 

Engaging and empowering participants:

  • You will champion CNIB's high standards of client and customer service, ensuring they are universally understood by staff and volunteers, and continuously upheld across all aspects of local operations.
  • You will build strong, positive relationships with program participants, and seek insight into their unique needs, goals and lived experiences.
  • You will proactively encourage program participants to take advantage of other CNIB programs and services that may benefit them, offering them opportunities to expand their support network and deepen their community engagement.

Building strong community relationships:

  • You will develop and steward strong and effective partnerships with community organizations that are aligned to and/or can help further our mission, including other service delivery organizations, funding agencies, etc.
  • You will be a key local ambassador for CNIB, representing and promoting the organization at all relevant community events


  • You will work closely with CNIB’s Philanthropy team to maximize donor investment in CNIB's Recreation and Sports Programs – providing information and support for various types of appeals and impact reports and liaising directly with prospective and existing donors to secure, retain and upgrade their philanthropic and/or volunteer support.
  • You will be a key local ambassador for CNIB, representing and promoting the organization at all relevant external events. 

The duties and responsibilities outlined above are indicative of the role but aren’t exhaustive and may be subject to change as required.


What do you bring to the table?

  • A track record of successful people management encompassing leading, managing and motivating teams of staff and volunteers
  • Excellent interpersonal, influencing and communication skills, with the ability to plan and deliver clear communications to a dispersed audience
  • Working knowledge of national volunteer organizations with a branch, region and/or membership based structure
  • Effectively demonstrates understanding and championing of diversity and accessibility issues
  • Experience in leading and supporting advocacy initiatives
  • Knowledge and experience in Accessibility Standards and best practices
  • Experience in developing service delivery models
  • Experience in delivering training workshops and devising and delivering one-on-one and group presentations
  • Proficient in Microsoft applications
  • Good relationship/team builder and networking skills with a variety of stakeholders
  • Excellent analytical, problem definition and problem-solving skills.
  • Proven time management, planning, coordinating and organization skills; proactive in initiating multiple projects on an ongoing basis.
  • Professional attitude, results oriented, strategic and flexible


Experience and Education

  • Post-secondary degree or diploma in a related field
  • 3-5 years of experience in program development and delivery within a charity/not-for-profit organization  
  • Knowledge of adaptive technology an asset
  • Knowledge and experience working in a not-for-profit or charity
  • Personal or professional experience relating to blindness and vision loss is considered an asset
Working conditions
  • Willingness to work flexible hours to meet program needs, including some evenings and weekends
  • Willingness to work from different locations
  • Local and some Regional travel will be required
Application and contact information

CNIB strives to establish and maintain an inclusive workplace and believes that the diversity of our workforce is an invaluable asset. CNIB is committed to following recruitment and selection practices based on merit, transparency, accessibility and inclusion ensuring that all candidates are given a fair opportunity for employment with CNIB.

To help ensure that this commitment is met, CNIB is committed to working with all candidates that require an accommodation. If you require an accommodation, please let us know what accommodation you require and CNIB will work with you to meet your needs at every stage of the recruitment and selection process.

For more information or to submit your resume, please contact

Please send cover letter and resume, and mention how you learned of this position.

Please note that the successful candidate will be required to pass a standard Criminal Record Check.

We thank all applicants for their interest in CNIB, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.