Clusiv is helping to build the future of the blind and visually impaired workforce that has experienced lower levels of employment, earnings, and education. According to the American Foundation of the Blind, the average wages of blind and visually impaired individuals are over twenty-five percent lower than those with no disability, and a majority of people who are blind or visually impaired are out of the labor force altogether. Clusiv aims to bridge the gap between accessibility and usability through a scalable e-learning platform that provides high-quality technical workforce training and upskilling offerings for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Clusiv was developed because of personal experiences of both the founder and CEO, Lukas Simianer, and the development team. Simianer was inspired to develop Clusiv after working with his blind stepfather to remediate an accessibility challenge for his then-current employer. In order to ensure the platform was created to anticipate, avoid and mitigate future problems for its target population, Clusiv was developed by a team that included people who are blind or visually impaired throughout the engineering and product life cycle.
Under the partnership, the Accelerator at WGU Labs—which partners with early-stage education technology companies that show potential for long-term social impact—will work closely with Clusiv to support the development of a Clusiv college readiness course for prospective students who are blind or visually impaired and seeking to enroll at WGU.
“We’re thrilled to partner with WGU Labs,” said Lukas Simianer, Clusiv CEO. “Having a partner with so much experience of making higher education accessible for as many people as possible is nothing short of amazing for Clusiv and the blind/low-vision community, a community that has not been given the training needed to access remote learning opportunities using assistive technology prior to us.”
Brad Bernatek, managing director of the Accelerator, added, “We’re excited to partner with Clusiv to significantly expand digital workforce training and higher education opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired to address historical inequities in their education, employment, and earnings.”
Clusiv represents the 20th partnership for the Accelerator at WGU Labs since its inception in 2019. To learn more about the Accelerator and its partners, visit https://wgulabs.org/accelerator/.
About WGU Labs
WGU Labs is the nonprofit EdTech consulting, incubation, research, and design arm of Western Governors University, where our mission is to identify and support scalable solutions that address the biggest challenges in education today.
The Accelerator at WGU Labs provides research, market development and product enhancement services to early-stage education businesses. Through these services, as well as financial investments, the Accelerator advances the scale and impact of education companies that share its mission to increase student access, lower student costs and improve student outcomes. Learn more about WGU Labs and the Accelerator at https://wgulabs.org/accelerator/. Follow WGU Labs on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Clusiv is engineering the future of work for accessibility with a training platform for individuals who have faced barriers to access and equity in the modern workforce. Learn more about Clusiv at https://clusiv.io/.