Wednesday, 17 July, 2024
Home » CAE wins £303k to train more disabled people as access experts

CAE wins £303k to train more disabled people as access experts

by Leah Llano

The Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) has now opened up its Pathways Academy training to disabled Londoners of all ages, thanks to a funding boost of £303,000 from London’s biggest independent charity funder, City Bridge Foundation.

This funding will further the impactful work of the Pathways Academy over the next three years, training and supporting disabled adults to kickstart careers in inclusive design and access-related roles.

Over 70% of Pathways graduates are now employed in inclusion and access-related roles, with, so far, 40 disabled people trained from 14 London boroughs. Pathways has been pivotal in providing trainees with the confidence, skills, and support necessary to embark on careers in the access field.

The initiative by CAE, which is part of Habinteg Housing Association, won the best career development initiative award in 2023’s Women in Housing Awards, following its launch three years prior.

Trainees are equipped with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills through nine months of online and in-person theory and practical training. They also benefit from on-the-job shadowing and mentoring by industry experts, who align with their areas of interest.

Fara Muneer, Head of Business Development at CAE, said: “This significant funding enables us to continue and expand the reach of the Pathways programme. It not only sustains the ongoing success of Pathways Academy, but allows us to eliminate age restrictions, making the course accessible to a broader group of disabled people in London. “This extra three years of funding provides us with an opportunity to explore further national funding for the programme.”

Nicky Sutherland, a former Pathways student said, “Access to me, was a bottomless pit of standards and regulations. It wasn’t something I was interested in, but Pathways changed that. The programme has allowed me to pick apart inclusive design and see what interests me. It opened my eyes to the inaccessibility baked into many aspects of society, and it made me want to learn more.”

Giles Shilson, City Bridge Foundation Chairman, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to continue to support the really important work CAE’s Pathways Academy is doing. It will help give even more disabled people the confidence, skills and support they need to forge a career in inclusive design and access-related roles.”

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