The Bridge to Inclusive Technology: Steps We are Taking to Increase Accessibility
The following is an excerpt from the 2019 CSR report.
Cisco laid the foundation on which the Internet is built. As we enter an era where everything and everyone is connected, we’re once again shaping the network’s future. In the process, we’re applying the lessons we’ve learned over more than 30 years and building technologies that are secure, accessible, and that bring people together.
Solutions that help people with vision, hearing, and mobility challenges communicate and collaborate. The Cisco IP Phone 8800 series is the first enterprise desk phone with built-in text-to-speech functionality. The product received the Chairman’s Award for Advancement in Accessibility from the Federal Communications Commission.
We’ve listened to and acted on feedback from many employees who are deaf or hard of hearing. They wanted to watch Cisco Beat live instead of waiting for the closed-captioned, video-on- demand recording. In 2019, we launched a separate broadcast stream that includes a live ASL interpreter. This was an important step toward inclusion, allowing hearing-impaired employees to get important company information at the same time as all others.
Accessibility for all
Access to opportunity can change lives and change communities. Cisco Networking Academy partners with educators, governments, and employers to bring global and inclusive access to digital skills to millions of people. To encourage instructors to support students of all abilities, we created Networking Academy accessibility online resources.
With the support of partners, Cisco is proud to deliver Networking Academy to 12,100 schools, community colleges, universities, and other organizations. Some of these partners support underserved and rural populations, veterans, prisoners, and people with disabilities.
Netacad.com follows web accessibility guidelines based on WCAG 2.0 for users with vision and hearing disabilities. We expanded accessibility in FY19 by adding course enhancements including:
- Screen readers
- Closed captions
- Keyboard shortcuts
Plus, we empower instructors to support students of all abilities. The program’s goal is to reach 10,000 students with disabilities, including physical, vision, and hearing impairments, by 2022. As of June 2019, we reached 8,000 students with disabilities. Several of these students enrolled through the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ ATWORK project. With this partner, we have created the abilITy Cisco Academy. This program has already trained two cohorts of adult learners.