Welcome to the abilITy Cisco Academy

The abilITy Cisco Academy or 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 IT 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! Our next class will start in mid-November 2019, so attend an Info Session today!

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.


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.

To Apply, Follow these 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.  For dates and times when an Info Session is offered, please click on the attached. Then, within the flyer, please click on RSVP link to schedule your attendance.

2.       Two-Part Application

If you decide that this program is right for you, please complete an application at the end of your Info Session. Part 1 is the above application, which includes two writing samples.  Afterwards, you must complete Part 2, which is you emailing your resume (or a video of yourself) to: dgica@icdnyc.org

3.       Pre-Assessments

When you have completed both parts of your application, then you will be invited to come back to ICD for a series of pre-assessments:

Day 1

  1. Take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) in Reading Comprehension and Math (we generally require a score of 10th grade level or higher). You can find out more about the TABE test as well as practice with sample questions here and here We strongly encourage you study and practice in advance.

  2. Take the Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS), which is a comprehensive assessment consisting of 8 five-minute tests designed to measure abilities that are related to performing a job.

  3. Do a typing test (we generally require a typing speed of 35 words per minute). 

Day 2

  1. Spend time in the IT Academy classroom with students currently enrolled in the program, which includes meeting with the teacher and participating in various classroom activities.

  2. Access the Cisco curriculum by going on the Cisco NetAcad online learning platform and take some practice tests. To familiarize yourself with Cisco exercises, you can practice on some Cisco’s self-assessments here.

  3. Meet with our Vocational Rehab Counselor about the program and what you’d like to achieve with the training as part of your career goal in the technology industry.

4.       Follow-Up Interviews

Depending on your application and pre-assessments, we may schedule you for a follow-up interview. During the interview, we’ll ask about your education background, interest in the technology field, work & life experiences, and overall 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!

Still interested? If you need more information, please complete this form and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

Come to an Information Session!

(Click on RSVP Link in the attached Flyer)

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)