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Cisco Networking Academy: Innovating to make schooling accessible and equitable for all

On December third we acknowledge Worldwide Day of Individuals with Disabilities and mirror on Cisco Networking Academy’s dedication to create an inclusive future for all, together with individuals residing with disabilities. This 12 months, the United Nations unveils a theme echoing Cisco’s place: “Transformative options for inclusive improvement – the function of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.”

As many as one billion individuals worldwide reside with a incapacity. One in eight individuals are extra more likely to be deprived by poorer schooling outcomes and decrease ranges of employment. One examine of ten least developed and creating economies stories that excluding individuals with disabilities from the workforce might value these economies between three and 7 % of GDP.

Expertise ranges the enjoying discipline.

At Cisco, we consider expertise can energy an inclusive future for all. For 25 years, Cisco Networking Academy has targeted on offering high-quality IT curriculum in modern topics like networking and cybersecurity, studying simulators, and hands-on studying alternatives through a studying platform to help instructors and interact learners in 190 international locations.

Revolutionary platform

Cisco Networking Academy creates and delivers accessible curriculum, studying platforms, and instruments to fulfill the wants of educators and college students by design with suitable assistive applied sciences. Cisco Networking Academy’s and studying platforms observe Internet Content material Accessibility Tips (WCAG) to make content material extra accessible to a variety of individuals with disabilities. In fiscal 2019, course enhancements included display reader help (together with lab directions), transcripts, closed captions, keyboard shortcuts, and on-line accessibility assets for instructors to help college students with accessibility lodging.

For extra details about our work on this space,


These course enhancements and design issues observe a dedication Cisco made in 2017 to coach 10,000 college students with disabilities in 5 years.

Inclusive workforce improvement goes past expertise. It additionally requires innovation and a collaborative neighborhood that’s united in objective and serving collectively.

Some revolutionary ‘firsts’ for our Networking Academy ecosystem embrace:

  • Partnering with UT de Santa Catarina in Brazil, one of many first establishments able to providing a mannequin of academic and labor inclusion for individuals with disabilities within the Americas.
  • Creating Cisco Entry for the Visually Impaired (CAVI), in partnership with Curtin College of Expertise in Perth, Western Australia, which noticed its first graduates in 2005. Dr. Iain Murray began this system as a short-term analysis undertaking in 2001 and has since been awarded an Order of Australia for his work. This system now teaches near 300 vision-impaired college students yearly from world wide by partnerships with organizations in India, Sri Lanka, The UK, South Africa, and Myanmar.
  • The Royal Nationwide Faculty for the Blind in the UK turned a Networking Academy in 2014.
  • The abilITy Cisco Networking Academy in New York supplied by the Institute for Profession Growth (ICD) turned the primary IT coaching program for individuals with disabilities in the USA in 2018.

These are only a few of our companions doing nice work to make the Networking Academy Program accessible to individuals with disabilities worldwide.

Influence issues

How are we monitoring in opposition to the dedication we made 5 years in the past to coach 10,000 individuals with disabilities? Since we activated voluntary self-reporting in fiscal 2019, as many as 153,000 college students have declared disabilities. Our work on this targeted space continues to evolve and we’re honored to make a good better impression.

Meet a few of our inspirational Networking Academy graduates and instructors with disabilities:

JacquesJacques, a Networking Academy alum, from the USA, not solely achieved CCNA certification as a part of his diploma program at Faculty of DuPage, however went on to finish a Grasp’s program. He was not too long ago awarded American Airforce Affiliation CyberPatriot XIII Mentor of the Yr.

Jacques discovered his ardour for expertise after his imaginative and prescient began to vary, and succeeded partly as a result of he discovered to ask what instruments have been accessible to assist. He now works as a Cybersecurity and Incident Response Analyst at United Airways.


TylerTyler, a Cisco Networking Academy alum was working as a reduction cook dinner when the pandemic struck, and it made him understand he wished to vary his profession. With help from Massachusetts Rehabilitation Fee, he overcame his studying difficulties to review the Cisco Cybersecurity Affiliate Program at Holyoke Group Faculty. Tyler is now Lead Affiliate of Tech Growth at an IT options supplier, the place he instructs interns in primary PC perform, PC builds and networking, in addition to primary cybersecurity. He hopes to earn a level. “Having a incapacity shouldn’t restrict or outline your capabilities….It’s taking me longer than most to realize what I’d like however I’ll get there finally,” he says.


Juan, a Cisco Networking Academy alumJuan, from Peru, had an curiosity in computer systems from a younger age. Regardless of his listening to impairment, Juan discovered his dwelling with Cisco Networking Academy. “After I joined the Cisco Networking Academy, the sensible strategy that they had of their digital programs made my studying expertise a lot simpler,” he says.

He felt so strongly in regards to the curriculum he now works as a Cisco CCNA teacher, and as an IT Supervisor for one more firm. Take a look at Juan’s story on this video:

Richard, a Cisco Networking Academy alumA special manner of perceiving issues could give Richard, from the USA, a bonus in cybersecurity as a Senior Analyst. Being neurodivergent might have introduced a problem in his schooling. With help from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Fee and Holyoke Group Faculty, Richard achieved each Cisco Licensed CyberOps Affiliate and Cisco Licensed Community Affiliate accreditation.

“The Cisco Cybersecurity coaching gave me the information, particularly within the knowledge and privateness area, to succeed at work, and I like to recommend this system to anybody contemplating it,” he says.


Fabien, a Cisco Networking Academy alumFabien, from France, studied for his CCNA and Introduction to Cybersecurity at Lycée Cabanis with the assistance of a French signal language interpreter. He transitioned from work in constructing upkeep and as an electrician to operating his personal IT contracting, networking administration, and training firm.

“I’m very proud to reach networking as a hearing-impaired individual. It proves that I’m as succesful as anybody,” he says.





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