It has never been easy to find employment for the disabled. The current economic situation has made this problem even more relevant. Large companies can assist such employees in receiving training and finding employment.

The project “Cisco Web Academy for the Disabled” was launched in the late 2011, and as of now over 500 people have taken part in it.

The free training in the online format is carried out following the CCNA Routing and Switching course where the program (240 hours) covers principal methods of serving different finds of networks. The auditors receive both the fundamental theoretical training and practical skills of configuring switchers and routers in multi-protocol networks uniting local-area and wide-area networks (LANs and WANs) as well as of searching and removing errors at the initial stage, improving the network’s performance and security.

The characteristic feature of online training in this academy is the possibility of remote performance of lab assignments on real network equipment by Cisco, which comprises a significant advantage for development of relevant skills. TermILab system developed in the Centre of Network Management and Telecommunications of Moscow Technical University (MIREA) helps the students to complete almost all lab assignments remotely.

It is important to note that, apart from training, students are offered assistance in finding employment. The Academy collaborates with large IT companies and is prepared to assist them in the search for suitable candidates.

Step Logic supported its colleagues’ initiative and in December 2014 made a job offer to several candidates from 4disabled.ru that had completed CCNA training at Cisco Web Academy for the Disabled. On part-time employment conditions, the employees conducted technical inspections of facilities of one of the company’s clients. The result of such cooperation satisfied all involved, making it possible to develop it further. Currently, Step Logic has invited a few more disabled specialists to work on a new, long-term, and interesting project.

, “The specific features of work of the service department mean that up to 90% of the entire scope of works in the sphere of network engineering are completed by remote access which makes it possible not only to involve engineers from the periphery but also the candidates from 4disabled.ru.

Naturally, before entrusting a new engineer with responsible work, the mandatory selection and remote interviewing are performed, and later their qualifications and knowledge of regulations are checked from time to time.

At the initial stage of work, such employees are notable because of their lack of practical experience, caused by objective reasons, but this does not hinder them in expanding their competencies and adapting in the virtual team. Experience has demonstrated that disabled candidates are no less punctual, attentive to formalities and regulations; they fulfil the established task at a high quality level, and with a minimum amount of errors.

The very fact of participation of a business company in the social adaptation of the disabled is important. When placed in the full-fledged competitive environment, they can shine thanks to their qualifications and responsible attitude to the job, while receiving a worthy pay for their work. Therefore, they are able not only to earn money but also to actualise themselves in the unlimited sphere of information technologies that truly interests them and internally motivates them for new achievements”.- Head of the service department of Step Logic, Vladimir Makoyev

Sergey Tulinov, the creator of the Academy, notes: “It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Step Logic to the project’s development. Successful examples of training and later employment make many other candidates believe in their strength and abilities. According to one of our auditors, "the knowledge received at these courses is quite competitive, and there is demand for specialists in this area. Even during the training, before receiving the certificate, I was able to fulfil several orders at freelance exchanges”.

According to the data taken from the HeadHunter.ru portal, over one third of all vacant positions for the disabled are offered by the IT sphere. We could only hope that these numbers will grow, and many disabled people will find the job of their dreams in our companies.