Welcome to the abilITy Cisco Academy

IT Academy is a new and innovative training program where students can earn industry-recognized Cisco skills and certifications in Networking and Cyber Security. The abilITy Cisco Academy, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ NYC: ATWORK provides training and well-paying employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Networking & Cyber Security. Join us to learn how you can become Cisco certified!

Key Components of the Program:

An Accessible Academy that has been adapted for different learning styles in a physically accessible environment. It is tuition-free for qualifying students.

Work Readiness - Students participate in workshops and one-on-one consultation that address topics such as resume writing, networking, mock interviews and workplace etiquette, often with potential employers.

Paid Internships provide students opportunities to apply skills in the workplace. 

Cisco Certification that is professionally recognized within the tech industry.

Eligibility and Application Requirements:

Thank you for considering the IT Academy.  Below is some information about the application process and what it takes to enroll into the program.


You may qualify if you:

  • Are a New York State resident

  • Have a documented disability

  • Are unemployed or underemployed

  • Have a 10th grade reading level and 10th grade math level

  • Have a HS Diploma, GED, or TASC

  • Have a demonstrable interest in technology – either post-secondary education and/or work experience (such as Help Desk tech, IT assistant, etc.)

  • Are able to commit to the 6-month training without missing a class, and the 3-month paid internship (approximately 25 hours/week)

  • Are legally authorized to work in the U.S.A.

  • Can read, write and speak in English

  • Can pass basic academic assessment tests

  • Are ready to make an important commitment to building your future

  • Are enrolled in or can enroll in ACCES-VR. If you don’t know, please ask us at: dgica@icdnyc.org.

Other factors may affect your eligibility.


5 Easy Steps:

1.       Information Session

Attend an in-person information session, where you will receive instructions on how to apply to the IT Academy.  

2.       Online Application

If you decide that this program is right for you, please complete the two part online application: Part A consist of you completing our short form here.  Afterwards, you must email us Part B, which is your resume AND cover letter (or a video of yourself) at: dgica@icdnyc.org

3.       Pre-Assessments

When you have completed Parts A and B of your application, then you will be invited to come back to ICD for a series of pre-assessments: 1. the Reading Comprehension and Math sections of the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) (we generally require a score of 10th grade level or higher); 2. a couple of Cisco Networking & Network Security exercises; and 3. a typing test.  You can find out more about the TABE test as well as practice with sample questions here and here.  To familiarize yourself with the Cisco exercises, you can practice with some Cisco’s self-assessment tools here. We strongly encourage you study and practice in advance.

4.       Interviews

Depending on your application and test results, we may schedule you for an interview. During the interview, we’ll ask about your education, interests, life experience, and plans for the future. There are no right answers—so be honest and be yourself. Not everyone is required to have an interview for acceptance.

5.       Enrollment

If we agree that you’re ready for this training, we’ll let you know and begin the enrollment process right away.

Reminder: please note that, for your enrollment application to be complete, you will need to submit all three parts: the online form, an email submission of your resume and cover letter (or video), and the completion of all your pre-assessments.


Still interested?

Come to an Information Session

(Link to the Info Session registration page)

Apply Now

(Link to the Online Application page)

ALL information sessions, pre-assessments, and interviews will be held at ICD below:

ICD-Institute for Career Development          123 William St., 5th Floor
New York, NY 10038


(A map of New York City with a pin dropped on ICD's location - 123 William Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10038)