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Curtin recognised at Australian Information Industry Association state iAwards

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Curtin University of Technology has won the prestigious Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Western Australian iAward for Education and Training.

Curtin and partners Cisco Systems Inc and the Association for the Blind WA, won the award for establishing the Cisco Networking Academy for the Vision Impaired (CAVI), the first project in the world to specifically train visually impaired individuals in Cisco computer networking.

The Academy aims to enhance the employment opportunities for people who are blind or vision impaired through leading industry training and information technology skills.

Curtin Business School funds the teaching staff for the project that is led by Dr Helen Armstrong in the School of Information Systems and Iain Murray in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr Armstrong said that winning the Award was very exciting for both herself and the team of dedicated staff at Curtin.

“We are very proud to receive this award and full credit goes to the extraordinary team that is responsible for running the Academy. They are the driving force behind the positive impact the project continues to have around the world,” Dr Armstrong said.

“Since the project was launched last year, we currently have more than 100 legally blind students enrolled in the program world wide and upon completion of the program these students will have earned the qualifications to gain employment in IT help desk and computer network administration positions.”

Professor Duncan Bentley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Business School congratulated the CAVI team on their achievement and described the project as an outstanding partnership with clear benefits to the community.

“This project is a great example of innovative work done by Curtin Business School and the Department of Science and Engineering in response to a community need,” Professor Bentley said.

“Curtin sees itself as a University of service and the recognition of the Academy is an excellent acknowledgement of this.”

As a recipient of the Western Australian iAward for Education and Training, the CAVI project is now a finalist in the national awards to be held in Melbourne this May.

The iAwards honour the most outstanding information and communications technology (ICT) technology talent in the nation, recognising innovation excellence across a range of important fields including education, finance, government, media and security.

Contacts: Monique Billstein; Public Relations; Curtin; 08 9266 3353; 0401 103 018;

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