The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF)  is funding a new training program aimed at helping people who are blind or visually impaired enter the cybersecurity industry, NSITE, the talent agency partnering with MEAF, recently announced.

The program, which is in the midst of a pilot, will help participants secure Cisco (CCNA) certification, an industry-recognized competence credential.

MEAF is providing a $95,700 grant to fund NSITE’s Cisco Academy training program, which offers education materials adapted to accommodate visually-impaired individuals.

“Support is not limited to purely technical skills; throughout the program, students participate in classes focused on resume writing, networking, mock interviews, and more,” NSITE says in a statement, adding many participants will receive job placement upon program completion.

According to a  2019 study, 44 per cent of the U.S. population with a visual impairment is employed, while 10 per cent of people with a visual impairment who are in the workforce are unemployed. The remaining 50.9 per cent of the U.S. population who have visual impairments are not in the labor force, the paper found — but numbers appear to vary based on the year and the current economic landscape, with unemployment rates greater near recession periods.