The Support Centre for Children and Adolescents at Risk Situation attached to the Department of Special Needs Education, Faculty of Education, The Open University of Sri Lanka conducted a Webinar to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2020, via ZOOM. Ms. Manique Gunaratne spoke on “Developing employment capacity of women with disabilities in Sri Lanka” at this webinar.
Today, the representation of women in the IT sector has been increased almost equal to men. Even-though there are both pros and cons of being a woman techie. It’s time to talk about this topic and especially problems, difficulties, and obstacles when women are reaching up to higher levels in the IT industry. Women Internet Governance Forum (Women IGF) is the platform where to raise the voice of the women of their concerns, look for answers, and get the attention of the community in this regard. In 2017 the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter initiated to move with the “Global Women in IT” and “ Sri Lanka National Internet Governance Forum 2017”. The Women Internet Governance Forum 2020 was organized by the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter in December 2020 in Virtual (online) format. Ms. Manique Gunaratne moderated the session on “Women and Internet with inclusivity of women with disabilities”.
The Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon is pleased to inform you that we are undertaking assignments with regards to the preparation of communication materials such as Leaflets, Brochures, Flyers, Notices etc. in Braille, Large print, audio, accessible e-copies, and sign language in all three languages at a nominal fee. Access to public information is a basic human right. For corporates, by making such information and communication about your products and services available for your customers or employees with diverse disabilities in accessible formats will be an impactful exercise. Ms. Ayesha Ariyaratne, Ms. Sanjeevani Ranasinghe and Ms. Cheranika Narayana took the initiative to sponsore audio books required as reference materials for vision impaired under-graduates. The audio books were handed over to the vision impaired under-graduates who required these books to successfully complete their studies. Manique Gunaratne The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, 385 J3 Old Kotte Road, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka.
The Rupavahini TV Channel telecasted a documentary titled “Iri Thalunu Minis Mal”
featuring Manique Gunaratne and several persons with disabilities to celebrate the
International Day for persons with disabilities.
Watch the video on:
CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials) and CCNA
(Cisco Computer Network Associates)
The Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) was shortlisted for the ‘Zero Project 2021’- an initiative of the Essl Foundation which focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally. An Austrian foundation set up in 2007 by Martin and Gerda Essl and their children for social purposes and scientific research, its mission is to support social innovation, social entrepreneurship and persons with disabilities. The Foundation is also in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2014 (ECOSOC status) and a member of the European Foundation Centre. The Zero Project of the Essl Foundation provides a platform where the most innovative an effective solutions to problems that persons with disabilities face, are shared. It is committed to assist in creating a world without barriers, based on the Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Each year the Zero Project focuses its research on a particular theme from the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD.) The themes revolve around the key areas of employment, accessibility, independent living, political participation and education. The EFC’s Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre was among the 178 nominations which made it through to the shortlist out of 475 nominations for the Zero Project Award 2021. ‘The nominated practices and policies have made it through a detailed quality check and through one round of peer-reviewing from experts, with and without disabilities, from around the world,’ according to the project details. Applauding Manique Gunaratne, Manager, Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre of the EFC for, “her commitment towards improving the lives of persons with disabilities,” in a congratulatory note, the Zero Project Team has further acknowledged her efforts to be having a “significant impact on inclusive economic development.” The Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre of the EFC which is now into its 11 th year, is a benchmarked platform for its ‘innovation’ and ‘uniqueness’, says its Manager. “The opportunities afforded by the Centre are multiple including employment opportunities for people with disabilities, additional training opportunities, app users etc. All these services are geared towards the open labour market in the country and extend to persons with diverse disabilities, diverse age groups, covering all corners of Sri Lanka,” notes Gunaratne who is a globally recognized activist for people with disabilities. Steered by a person with a disability for persons with disabilities, the Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre rests on the concept of ‘nothing about without us,’ says Gunaratne who herself is visually impaired, having lost her vision in her late twenties due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. Calling for a national will to champion the rights of people with disabilities, Gunaratne urges for expeditious passage of Disability Rights Bill. “The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on everyone and it is imperative to identify the concerns of people with disabilities and empower them especially during a testing time such as this.” She also invites more companies and stakeholders to join hands with the EFC to provide more employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and promote inclusive workplaces. “It’s a huge honour for the EFC and would like to thank the members of Employers Network on Disability, those who have supported us over the years and especially those who have committed themselves in assisting persons with disabilities over the years.
Read the articles at:
EFC’s Specialised Training and Disability Resource Centre shines globally | Daily FT
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Manique Gunaratne 2 Zero project badge. 3 Daily FT article. Manique Gunaratne Vice Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum
ASIA PACIFIC REGION INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM
The 11 th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) took place in October
The APrIGF is a multi-stakeholder platform that facilitates the discussion of issues pertaining to Internet governance and its development in the Asia Pacific region. This year, the APrIGF was held virtually with the overarching theme “Internet Governance for Good: Norms, Standards and Mechanisms”. The event was hosted by the APrIGF Multi- Stakeholder Steering Group (MSG). Ms. Manique Gunaratne was a panelist at this webinar to speak about the Access to Internet for persons with disabilities. Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons: 1 Flyer
2 Manique presenting. 3 Manique presenting. 4 Manique presenting 5 Manique presenting. 6 Manique presenting. 7 Manique on screen. Manique Gunaratne Vice President – Sri Lanka Foundation for Rehabilitation of the Disabled
WINDOWS OPERATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH
Ms. Manique Gunaratne together with Ms. Gayani Dissanayaka and Ms. Hevindi Karavita
spoke on ICT training on “Windows Operations” for persons with disabilities at a half an
hour radio programme titled “Anduren eliyata” at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Manique, Gayani, Hevindi and Sujeewa recording the programme at the studio.
2 Manique, Hevindi and Sujeewa at the recording.
3 Manique, Hevindi and Gayani.
Committee Member – SPRINT Committee of Family Planning Association
Ms. Manique Gunaratne together with Mr. Tharidu Rajamanthri
spoke on “Audio descriptions for vision impaired persons” at The half an hour programme titled
“Anduren eliyata” at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in August 2020.
Picture description for vision impaired persons:
1 Manique and Tharidu.
2 Manique and Tharidu recording the programme with Sujeewa Manage.
Steering Committee Member – International Labour
Organisation Global Business Disability Network