Millions of people with disabilities lack skills for entry level IT jobs, are chronically unemployed and lack self confidence, while millions of IT jobs go unfilled.
Employment rates for people with disabilities remains chronically low while the overall employment continues at a very high level for others. Employers struggle to find talent, while many millions of people all over the world with disabilities are unemployed. The pandemic is driving businesses to accelerate their digitization efforts and further increasing the demand for IT talent. Most people with disabilities want to work and are capable of filling knowledge worker roles but often lack the education, skills or experiences to be considered for these jobs. As a result, the employment challenges for individuals continues and the overall labor participation rates for people with disabilities are not progressing.
To solve this skills gap, and to enable transformative employment opportunities, we are building training academies that provide people with disabilities with certified skills that lead to high paying IT jobs. Our initial prototypes leverage the Cisco Networking Academy program to develop certifiable IT skills that leads to a high paying jobs and careers. The certification the students receive is portable globally.
Prototypes have been completed in several locations with transformative results. To date, nearly 200 people with disabilities have completed the program with average graduation and employment internship rates over 90%. 200 additional students are enrolled in a program somewhere in the world today.
We unlock 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: email@example.comOur Vision and Plan:
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 their vast potential to in-demand high paying jobs. In the process we hope to enrich and transform their lives.
Planning is underway to expand and extend this program to new locations, new technologies and new industries. Contact us for more information.
Our Unique Solution is Transformational:
While many programs and organizations aspire to expand disability inclusion, we are having meaningful impact through our unique approach:
- All disabilities welcomed: The Bridge to Opportunity welcomes people with all disabilities who are supported, encouraged, inspired and wanted.
- Certification overcomes barriers: Graduates are certified and credentialed from industry leaders for in-demand IT opportunities. This overcomes education barriers and prepares our candidates for high paying IT jobs.
- Employment Is our only Goal: We develop skills and work experience for in-demand roles and help assure employment through the proactive and enthusiastic support of employers as we engage the sponsoring employers throughout training lifecycle.
- Made possible through our unique partnerships: We welcome government groups, employers, development agencies, and other mission aligned organizations to partner with us to deliver the program. Their support allows us to deliver it tuition-free to candidates and supports our high success rates.
- Potential everywhere: This program is financially sustainable so it is scalable and highly replicable. Opportunities for success exist almost everywhere.
- Benefits All: Our innovative model and partnerships alllow a broad range of partners to participate and contribute to program success. All stakeholder benefit from this model.
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. The pandemic is exacerbating these challenges. 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 in the process we will transform lives.
Questions and Further Information:
If you have questions, or would like more information please contact:
Patrick Romzek, firstname.lastname@example.org
Success Stories and Links:
Cisco LifeChanger Summary by Cisco (2017):
Inclusive Academy Summary, Vienna Austria (2017):
The Nigel Floris Story - Life Changed by NYC abilITy Academy (2018):
Cisco Blog on NYC abilITy Academy (10/2019):
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):
Institute for Career Development (ICD) NYC Launch and Ribbon Cutting Video (2018):
Institute for Career Development (ICD) NYC Student Testimonials:
Marc Bagnara, IT Academy Graduate:
NIgel Floris, IT Academy Graduate:
Bridge Academy In Massachusetts Launch Press Release from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission:
Watch the Virtual Launch of the Michigan Bridge Academy Program:
Entire Launch video
Comments from former Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Student Testimonials from recent program launches:
Michigan Bridge Academy Cohort 1 Students Comments
Nairobi Bridge Academy Cohort 1 Student Comments