Institute For Career Development

Adult Program


123 William Street

New York, NY 10038

IT Academy

produced by

Institute For Career Development

123 William Street

New York, NY 10038


Institute For Career Development’s IT Academy is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.

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Who is served: Adults with disabilities

Number of participants served annually: 60+

Location: Manhattan

Frequency/Duration: Monday–Friday, 5 hours each day for 6 months

Eligibility Criteria: Must be an unemployed or underemployed New York State resident with a documented disability, work authorization, a high diploma or equivalency, and the ability to enroll in Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR). Also must be able to demonstrate a 10th grade level in reading comprehension and math.

Application process: Online application, plus resume and either a cover letter or a 3–5 minute video of yourself. Select applicants then return for pre-assessment tests, including the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS), and a typing test.

Curriculum: IT

Skill level: Entry-level

Outcomes: Cisco certifications in Networking and Cyber Security, paid internship, job placement

Partnerships: Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ NYC: ATWORK, ACCES-VR, Mayors Fund to Advance New York City

Cost: Free

Sources of funding: Access-VR, Veterans Program funded through VA and private donations

What makes this program stand out? The IT Academy at the Institute for Career Development (ICD) is the first IT training program that specifically serves people with disabilities.”The first cohort took 7 months to get through the curriculum,” said Diosdado Gica, Chief Operating Officer of ICD. “But we don’t see their disabilities as a challenge, we see their disabilities as a strength.”

The IT Academy graduated all of its students enrolled in the first cohort in 2019, and their second cohort is underway. The team at ICD worked with industry partners to design a tech training that aligns with industry needs and ensures program participants are receiving the training necessary to advance into well-paying tech-oriented careers.The IT Academy is built on 4 key components: a fully accessible academy with cutting-edge assistive technology, work readiness, paid internships, and Cisco certification.

While the technical component is essential, ICD emphasizes that work readiness is equally important. Each participant is eligible for a 3-month internship paid for by the employer. Job readiness and acclimation to the work environment are crucial to training, Gica says. Upon completion of the program, ICD follows students for a minimum 90 days through job placement, helping them with transportation to interviews and even assisting with on-boarding.

What do participants need to succeed? Participants must be able to commit to the 6-month training without missing a class, along with the 3-month paid internship (approximately 25 hours per week).

What does the organization need? Additional employer partners willing to mentor students and provide paid internships. Gica also cites a need for professional development training programs to ensure instructors have pedagogical competency and the ability to create lesson plans that teach to different modalities of learning.