Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired

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CAVI is a project of the
Curtin University Centre for Accessible Technology Curtin University Centre for Accessible Technology

About CAVI


Cavi is a part of the Cisco Academy Networking program in the Asia-Pacific region. For additional information, see

Also see:

About CAVI
Meet the Staff
CAVI in India
CAVI in Sri Lanka
Remote Laboratories, Virtual Classroom & Tactile Tools

The courses currently offered to students of the Cisco Academy of the Vision Impaired are as follows: CCNA Discovery 1 and 2 (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and IT Essentials 1 and 2, the latter of which is being updated.

The program is presented over a twelve month period and provides the participants with skills to:

  • Install, configure, and operate computer networks,
  • Resolve networking issues; and
  • Build a computer and install different versions of industry standard operating systems.

The only modifications of the courses are those necessary to make the content accessible to those using screenreading or magnification programs. These include accessible flash content & diagram descriptions.

On completion of the program the participants will be able to move into IT positions in industry or embark on further education.

The current class has students located throughout Australia, the USA, Germany and Sri Lanka. It is worth noting that the results achieved by the vision impaired students (on line exams) compare favorably and often exceed the results achieved by sighted students enrolled at Curtin University.

In recent years,we have shown there is a proven method of remote delivery of the augmented curriculum, remote laboratories and tools so that vision impaired students may successfully complete a highly regarded industry certification that leads to otherwise unattainable employment opportunities.

Assistive Technology

One of the key aspects of the CAVI approach is the targeted use of Assistive Technology (AT). These applications allow a student to access their computer via large print or speech output. CAVI offers training in specific technologies for vision impaired students prior to their commencing the network and IT training components of the course, ensuring that the student has the prerequisite skills necessary to succeed in the course of study.

Using a specifically designed network established and situated at Curtin University, participants can access the remote equipment via the Internet, performing the network design and configuration exercises from any location

The virtual classroom provides the facilities for students to talk to one another as well as communicate with the instructors, similar to a normal classroom environment. The lectures are recorded and made available in audio files on the project website along with other teaching materials for easy access by the students at any time. Remote communications occur via VoIP, with most students using freeware applications such as Skype & Ventrilo.

People Using PegboardTo aid in the understanding of mathematical subjects such as binary and hexadecimal conversions, tactile devices have been developed. The picture above illustrates an instructor and students working with the pegboard, a device that allows the tactile calculation of networking mathematics. Network dominoes are also used to describe the physical layout of networks. All devices are made of commonly available materials and are easy to manufacture locally.

Students are encouraged to continue using the
Student Resources on the older
CUCAT Web Site until advised.