Yoo, who is Senior VP for Corporate Affairs at Cisco, says over the years Cisco’s Networking Academy has benefited over 3,000 students with disabilities and the company has made a commitment to more than triple that number in the next five years.
“We believe that helping people with disabilities develop technical skills is a win-win,” writes Woo. “It enables them to get jobs, build careers, gain personal independence and overcome cultural stereotypes. And, it can also build the pipeline of IT talent that organizations need to take advantage of the digital revolution and accelerate global problem solving.”
In Charleston, SC the city recently hosted an Inclusion Summit to encourage local businesses to hire people with disabilities. In Ireland, activists are calling for attitude change after a new report found people with disabilities are four times less likely to be employed in the country. From Singapore comes a call for early integration of children with and without disabilities as a way to boost employment rates for people with disabilities.
What’s clear from these examples is that society needs to change mindsets and find innovative ways to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind. And there are some signs of progress.