Ms. Manique Gunaratne together with MIUSA (Mobility International USA) women with disabilities from the Asian region   attended the Beijing+25 Regional CSO Forum, at the UNESCAP, United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2019. The forum was organised by the Asia-Pacific Beijing+25 Civil Society Steering Committee with support from UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. The Beijing+25 review process begins in 2019 and will culminate in a global review at the 64th Session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2020. The global review will

highlight the achievements and barriers to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). It will also provide an opportunity to look at emerging issues which

have served to restrict women’s enjoyment of their rights.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne was a panelist at the side event on “Intersectionality: how to make it real” mainstreaming women with disabilities and their diverse realities organised by Rising Flames.

The “Brilliant & Resilient” photo exhibition by MIUSA was also held at the United Nations Conference Centre.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Group photograph.


2 Group of women with disabilities.

3 Group with the UN Logo.

4 Manique at the United Nations Conference Centre.

5 Manique at the CSO Forum.

6 Manique with the banner.

7 Manique with the photo at the photo exhibition.

8 Manique with the UN logo.

9 Sri Lankan participants.

10 Manique at the United Nations Conference Centre entrance.

11 At the conference.

12 Manique at the panel discussion.

Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter


Mobility International USA is an international exchange organization that has sponsored educational exchange and leadership training programs since 1981, to improve the lives of people with disabilities around the world. Ms. Manique Gunaratne participated in MIUSA’s Regional Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) – Asia program, as a Trainer at Pulman King Power Hotel  in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2019. Women with disabilities from China, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Thailand and Sri Lanka participated at this forum.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Participants at table.

2 Participants at table.

3 Group photograph of participants.

4 Group photographs with interpreters.

5 Manique with Susan with the certificate.


Manique Gunaratne




Manique Gunaratne is a member of the LIRNEasia advisory board for disability research cycle, through which they hope to catalyze the innovation ecosystems that will make applications based on smartphones and other ICTs widely available to contribute to independent living by persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Group photograph.

2 Research group.


Manique Gunaratne

WhatsApp: 0094779571918


Manique Gunaratne attended the 2019 Disability Inclusive Development Train-the-Trainers Intensive training, organized by the Korea Disabled People’s Development Institute (KODDI) established under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea, funded by government of Republic of Korea in Seoul, Korea in November 2019. The programme was held at the Shilla Stay Mapo Hotel.

The program was focused on building knowledge and skills in the area of disability inclusive development together with the tools to deliver participatory disability inclusive development workshops.

Korea Disabled People’s Development Institute (KODDI) as a public institution under the Ministry of Health and Welfare has been a focal point in the area of Persons with Disabilities ever since its inception in 1989. KODDI is leading “Incheon Strategy” which is a regional consensus to “Make the Right Real” for 690 million PWDs (Persons with Disabilities) in Asia and the Pacific with UNESCAP (a regional commission of United Nations Economic and Social Council). KODDI has been designated as the secretariat of Make the Right Real Fund since 2013, implementing programs benefiting PWDs in cooperation with governments, international organizations, civil societies including DPOs in Asia and the Pacific.

“2019 Disability Inclusive Development Train-the-Trainers Intensive Workshop” was the first initiative for trainers on UNCRPD and SDGs in collaboration with Harvard Law School Project on Disabilities.

The overall Objective: was to design and implement a pilot Train-the-Trainers program focusing on building knowledge and skills in the area of disability inclusive development.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Getting ready for the training.

2 Day 1 of the training.

3 At the training.

4 Participants.

5 Group photograph.

6 Group work.

7 Preparing for group work.

8 Manique and Alies.

9 Manique and Deepti.

10 Manique and Mijoo.

11 Manique and Sagarika at group work.

12 Manique presenting.

13 Manique making a presentation.

14 Manique and Madina.

15 Manique, Sagarika, Jane and alies.

16 Manique, Sagarika and Madina.

17 Manique and Sagarika with banner.

18 Group work.

19 Manique, Sagarika and Amalia.

20 Group photograph.

21 Manique with the KODDI President.

22 Meeting with the KODDI officials.


Manique Gunaratne

Viber: 0094779571918


Companies spend a significant amount of money on developing staff, whether it is on team-building away days, attending conferences or enhancing technical skills such as coding languages.

Part of the budget should go towards honing soft skills to nurture a positive culture among the workforce. While traditional forms of training might

involve presentations, role-plays and task-based problem-solving, companies may not have considered basic sign language as a means of complementing the existing

training provision. Yet, there are ample reasons to support implementing Basic Sign Language training as part of your staff’s ongoing professional development due to following reasons:


1 Your customers will thank you

There is a lot of buzz around the area of customer experience. While many Managers are busy mapping customer interactions and implementing email automation,

there are people who will find it harder to access your perfectly designed customer journey. If your team members are able to understand the barriers and

communicate with a hard of hearing or deaf customer, that person will gain a positive experience of your company. You benefit from increased customer opportunities

and accessing a new market by understanding how to make your promotions and offers more accessible leading to increased sales.


2 Your workforce will be more inclusive

If someone joins the team who is hard of hearing or deaf and communicates in sign language, they will feel more included if staff have some knowledge in sign language. The team will also feel more confident in approaching their deaf teammate.


3 Supporting each other

If you include sign language training as part of your workplace development programme, it could be fun to foster a “sign language only” hour in the afternoon where those who need to speak to each other can sign. This will give hearing members of staff the chance to practise their new skills with each other and deaf colleagues the opportunity to offer support and be more fully involved in their team’s development.


4 A chance to develop empathy

One of the most important soft skills you can adopt in the workplace is empathy. Learning sign language or any other language is a fast track to becoming

more empathic. As a language learner, the struggles that come with not being able to communicate fluently mean you experience a sense of humility. This

means that, if someone joins the team whose first language is not English, co-workers will know to adapt their speech and gesturing to help the newcomer

understand better.


5 Improving non-verbal communication skills

Have you ever sat through a boardroom meeting, asked your colleagues how they felt it went and realised that everyone present has a completely different?

impression of what actually happened? Deciphering those all-important non-verbal signals can be frustrating. Being able to read another’s body language

helps you know your next move in a business situation, so honing those skills is vital for a successful outcome. Learning sign language, your team will

improve their ability to pick up on non-verbal cues and will therefore become a better asset in the boardroom or on the sales floor.


These are just a few great reasons to implement Basic Sign Language training among the staff members in the companies.

The first group successfully completed the Basic Sign Language training conducted by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Training & Disability Resource Centre in September 2019. The training was conducted by Ms. Chammi Dias.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Chammi, Manique and the participants.

2 Group photograph.

3 Participants.

4 Participants.

5 Participants.


Manique Gunaratne