Bridging Potential to Opportunity

The Problem we are Solving:
Employment rates for people with disabilities (PWD) remains chronically low while the overall employment rate (labor participation rate) is at historic high levels.  Employers struggle to find talent, while many millions of people all over the world with disabilities are unemployed.  Most people with disabilities want to work and are capable of significant roles but often lack the education, skills or experiences for meaningful jobs.  As a result, the employment challenges for individuals continue and the overall labor participation rates for people with disabilities is not progressing. 

To solve this skills gap, and to enable employment opportunties which can in turn transform their lives, we are building training academies that provide people with disabilities with certifed skills that lead to high paying jobs.  Our initial prototypes leverage the Cisco Networking Academy program to develop employable skills and globally recognized certification that leads to a high paying job careers in cyber-security.  The certification the students receive is portable to every major employment center globally. 

Successful Prototypes:
Prototypes have been completed in several locations with transformative results.  To date, over 130 people with disabilities have completed the programs in the prototypes in the US and Europe with average graduation rates of 98% and employment rates of 95%.  This program unlocks the great potential of people with disabilities and creates a bridge to the significant opportunities in the IT industry.   The program is delivered through an innovative community partnership ecosystem of governments, employers, service agencies and advocacy groups.  Together we are transforming employment and people's lives.

Planning is underway for additional programs in additional employment centers in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia.  For more information on how you can participate email:

Our Mission is to transform employment and lives through employment globally for for people of all abilities. 

We envision bridge to opportunity programs that support people of varying abilities to develop a certified skill set through the active engagement and support of community stakeholders, employers, and industry leaders that bridges the vast potential of people with disabilities to in-demand high paying jobs that transform their lives.

Program principles:

Our success is attributable to our fundamental principles:

  • All Disabilities: The Bridge to Opportunity welcomes people with all disabilities who are supported, encouraged, inspired and wanted.
  • Certification: Graduates are certified and credentialed from industry leaders of in-demand portable worldwide opportunities.
  • Employment Assured: We develop skills and work experience for in-demand roles and help assure employment through the proactive and enthusiastic support of employers.
  • Employer engagement: We engage the sponsoring employers throughout training lifecycle to ensure a match of skills to jobs, assure employment, and enrich the training experience.
  • Public participation and support: We welcome government groups to support, sponsor and participate throughout the program to allow us to deliver it tuition-free to candidates.
  • Career Success Assured: We leverage industry and community groups to help us recruit, assess and support our students.  They ensure the work environment and culture where students are employed maximizes their short term job success and long term career potential.
  • Financially Viable:  Through the generous support of our partners we offer the program free to participants and we ensure all partners benefit from a brand, mission-alignment and financial perspective. 
  • Benefits All:  Delivered through an innovative partnership ecosystem in  which all (governments, employers, service providers, and people with disabilities) all contribute to program success and benefit from it.  We seek to transform lives through employment.

Summary and Next Steps:
Employment of people with disabilities remains chronically low while millions of IT jobs go unfilled.  Employers cannot find employable talent and the labor pool is declining in many countries.  Candidates with disabilities often lack “employable skills” that limit their employment potential.  The Bridge to Opportunity academy builds employable skills which unlocks potential and transforms lives.   It is a proven program achieving very high success rates, in which all stakeholders contribute and all benefit.  

Together with our partners, we will transform employment for people with disabilities, unlock their potential, create a bridge to opportunity…and transform lives.

Questions and Further Information:

If you have questions, or would like more information please contact:
Patrick Romzek,

Success Stories:

Cisco LifeChanger Summary by Cisco (2017):

Inclusive Academy Summary, Vienna Austria (2017):

NYC AbilITy Academy (2018):

The Nigel Floris Story - Life Changed by NYC abilITy Academy (2018):

Cisco Blog on NYC abilITy Academy (10/2019):

Detroit Exceptional Academy:

Bridge Academy Program Presentation to the International Labour Organization (2019):

 Cybersecurity Talent Shortage and Bridge Academy in Michigan (2020):

Cisco Blog Post Highlighting the Exceptional Academy in MI (2020):


 To view an overview video of the Bridge to Opportunity Program click link below: