NetAcad Accessibility Online Resource


Commitment to Accessibility


Accessibility at Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco Networking Academy has an on-going commitment to creating and delivering accessible curriculum, learning platforms, and tools to meet the needs of educators and students through design use with compatible assistive technologies.

Our design philosophy is that all students should be able to access all content, in some form. Investing in the accessibility of our content results in a higher-quality learning experience for all Cisco Networking Academy participants, regardless of ability.

Accessibility Standards and Guidelines

Cisco Networking Academy complies with accessibility laws and strives to deliver curriculum that conforms to and supports the U.S. Access Board's standards as referenced in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

All new Cisco Networking Academy courses utilize the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A & AA guidelines as best practices for development, testing and assessing the accessibility conformance of our web-based content.

Four principles of the WCAG guidelines drive our curriculum design

Perceivable Operable Understandable Robust
Users can perceive the information presented; nothing is invisible to all senses Users can operate all elements of the interface Users can understand the information and the operation of the content and interface Users can continue to access the content as assistive technologies and browsers advance

Accessibility initiatives Cisco has already invested in to better serve students of all abilities

  • Provide course and content developers with the training needed to design, produce and deliver accessible materials
  • Invest in development of templates and infrastructure that ensures accessibility is built into new courses from the ground up
  • Engage students and educators with disabilities in research projects, testing and prioritization of accessibility efforts
  • Evaluate accessibility and usability throughout the course implementation, using multiple evaluation approaches specific to the content.  Learn more about our testing techniques
  • Use of Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT) to document course/tool accessibility conformance requirement by requirement (Learn More about VPATs)


Accommodation Support


Curriculum Accommodations

The specific accommodations include:

  • Video transcriptions and closed captions
  • Text alternatives for non-text content and graphical images, including captions and other alternatives for multimedia
  • Audio controls
  • High-contrast color ratios and accessible use of color
  • Magnifier accessibility; text and image resizing
  • Screen reader compatibility to navigate, operate and understand the content
  • Coding practices compliant with W3C standards for both HTML and CSS to support current and future browsers

As each course is refined and revised, our team is actively introducing new features to improve accessibility in the course and in the supporting documentation.
See course specific VPATs for more information, NetAcad VPAT.

Certification Accommodations

We partner with Pearson VUE to provide accommodations to support students that need additional assistance when taking certification tests.

Pearson VUE test accommodations may include things such as:

  • A separate testing room
  • Extra testing time
  • A reader or recorder

Test accommodations are individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Specifics about requesting Cisco test accommodations from Pearson VUE are available here

Contact Cisco Networking Academy Accessibility Team

If you are interested in joining the Cisco Networking Academy as a student, educator or partner and have questions regarding the accessibility of our curriculum for persons with disabilities, please contact the NetAcad Team via our facebook page:

Existing Networking Academy educators can submit accessibility questions or concerns through the support desk: Click the Help Menu on icon in top right corner of the post-login page, then select Netacad Support.


Focusing on our Commitment


Testing Processes

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and our testing processes endeavor to accommodate a range of limitations including visual, auditory, mobility, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities. 

Testing Techniques Applied

Code Inspection Keyboard Navigation Visual Inspection Screen Reader
To programmatically detect and resolve accessibility violations early in the process, such as missing alternative text tags. To verify that the content is accessible by keyboard-only users, including links, form controls, interactive elements, etc. To verify that the content is readable and usable by users who have visual impairment, color blindness or photosensitivity issues. To verify that the content is accessible by screen reader users. Screen readers announce text, alternative text for images, labels of form controls, data tables etc.

Testing Techniques Validate

  • Screen readers announce enough information so users can navigate, understand, and operate the content
  • Logical navigation and focus indication of the content
  • Consistent navigation across similar pages
  • Operation of all links, form controls, dialogs, scripts, and methods that provide time limits
  • Appropriate color contrast schemes and ratios; employ proper use of color
  • Content can be resized
  • Content does not blink, flash, scroll or move
  • Accessibility of video and audio content
  • Appropriate headings and labels


Cisco Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs)


Learning more about our commitment

Cisco's vision is to improve the way all people work, live, play, and learn. Cisco Accessibility Initiative is a companywide effort that stresses the importance of creating accessible products.

To make it easier for educators, students and partners to understand how our courses currently work for people with disabilities, Cisco offers Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT) for the Cisco Networking Academy courses and tools that have completed the verification process. 

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a document that contains a list of requirements needed for a product to conform to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Level A & AA guidelines. The template format allows Cisco to state their conformance requirement by requirement.

Browse Cisco Networking Academy VPATs

Evaluation Criteria

VPATs for Cisco Networking Academy courses and tools evaluate the following:

VPATs for Cisco Networking Academy courses VPATs for tools such as Packet Tracer

VPATs for Cisco Networking Academy courses evaluate the following:

  • W3C WCAG Level A and AA Compliance for Web Applications
  • W3C WCAG Level A and AA Compliance for Documentation
  • Documentation and Services

VPATs for tools such as Packet Tracer evaluate the following:

  • Section 508 Chapter 3: Functional Performance Criteria
  • Section 508 Chapter 5: Software
  • Section 508 Chapter 6: Support Documentation and Services