Business Leaders Program

Enhancing Career Success for People Who Are Blind

NIB’s award-winning Business Leaders Program was launched in 2003 to prepare individuals who are blind for careers in business by providing educational and employment opportunities through professional development. The Business Leaders Program offers five professional development tracks:

Business Management Training

Business Management Training (BMT) is a 15-month program that develops critical business perspective and management abilities, taught by George Mason University (GMU) at their Arlington Campus in Metro Washington D.C.

BMT targets qualified, high-potential employees of NIB and NIB associated agencies who are blind and demonstrate leadership potential. Throughout the five on-location classroom sessions, participants build critical skills while earning a Certificate in Management from GMU Business School.

Click here to read more about Business Management Training in NIB’s Opportunity Magazine.

Emerging Professionals

Emerging Professionals, a new track in NIB’s Business Leaders Program, is an onsite, hands-on professional development program that targets high-potential employees who are legally blind for career progression. It is customized, meeting the professional development needs of each participant. The program is most beneficial for employees who have mastered their current positions and are ready to expand job tasks and responsibilities, and lead others.

The Emerging Professionals program is held at each participant’s place of employment and takes 8-12 months to complete.

Participants maintain their current positions and continue to meet job requirements while learning new skills and carrying out new responsibilities carved out of existing schedules. Human resources personnel and participants’ managers provide coaching and educational support to increase workplace knowledge and ability.

Click here to see what people are saying about Emerging Professionals in NIB’s Opportunity magazine.

Click here to read the Emerging Professionals Fact Sheet.

Effective Supervision

Effective Supervision develops participants’ abilities to perform supervisory jobs with greater productivity, effectiveness and responsibility, and keep business operations running smoothly. This program includes self-study and three participant-centered classroom sessions, spread over a period of 10 months. The program includes a session on performance coaching for participants’ managers, who play a significant role in helping participants apply what they learn.

Effective Supervision was delivered to 72 participants in 2011 through 2017. The 2019 Effective Supervision Class will begin in April 2019 with graduation scheduled for October 2019.

Fellowship for Leadership Development

This dynamic program combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with professional development activities. Legally blind individuals are selected based on experience, competence, academic achievement, motivation, references and interviews.

Successful fellows have landed professional and upwardly mobile managerial positions in the NIB network of associated nonprofit agencies and the broader business communities.

Leaders at All Levels

Leaders at All Levels is on-site training that focuses on fundamental skills and qualities that enhance workplace effectiveness throughout NIB’s network of associated agencies. The training focuses on interpersonal communication and teamwork, with the benefit of enhancing effectiveness and morale.

Sessions incorporate videos, discussion and small group exercises to build skill sets for nearly everyone. There is no cost to the agency – NIB provides the materials and the instructor. 

Contact Us

For questions or to discuss any of the Business Leaders Program tracks, please contact Karen Pal, program director, Business Leaders Program, at 703-310-0515 or