DISRUPT ASIA 2017 CONFERENCE INCLUDES PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

ICTA (Information & Communication Technology Agency) organised Sri Lanka’s Premier Startup Conference and Expo, Disrupt Asia 2017 at Hilton Colombo in July 2017. This was the largest gathering of the startup ecosystem of Sri Lanka.

Gender diversity is not merely an opportunity for women but creates opportunity on a larger scale for companies, the tech industry, and the economy. Here are three major areas that are impacted by gender diversity. Revenue and profitability, meeting workforce needs, economic fairness.

According to research tech space is the only one where the participation of women has decreased in the last 20 years globally. Low levels of female employment and leadership in tech should signal alarm bells, and not just for women. Gender diversity is increasingly becoming an economic argument, not merely an ethical one. So why does gender diversity even matter, anyway? What’s wrong with having a 70% male dominated profession?

Apart from gender another overlooked point would be the employability of persons with disability, How can we make a better environment where everyone is treated in a similar manner?

“Diversity In Tech: How Well Are We Doing?” panel was moderated by Zahra Cader – Senior Manager – PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Other Panelists were:

Nayeni Fernando – Former IT head of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Hiranya Fernando – CEO – Careerly Networks

Yusra Aziz Eliyas – Founder – Podi Jobs

Manique Gunaratne – Manager – Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 All pannalists.

2 Closeup of Manique presenting.

 

3 Manique presenting.

4 Screen and the participants.

Manique Gunaratne

Blog: http://efcnetworkondisability.employers.lk/

 

EFC ASSISTS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

University of Kelaniya together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Disability Resource Centre developed a strategic plan to promote ICT training, awareness on technology and facilities to be provided for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities, Lecturers and relevant authorities were involved in this process. As a start of this process, Ms. Manique Gunaratne donated a Braille slate, stylus and Braille papers to a vision impaired student.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique presenting.

2 Manique with the participants.

Manique Gunaratne

FaceBook – Manique Gunaratne

 

CURTIN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities is the only Cisco Academy in Sri Lanka for persons with diverse disabilities. Dr. Iain Murrey, Course Coordinator of Curtin University of Technology in Australia has been supporting the ICT Training Centre since its inception in 2009 especially for the Cisco courses conducted at EFC. Dr. Iain Murrey had a discussion with Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon in June 2017 to promote more opportunities for persons with disabilities.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Manique and Iain at the Training Centre

 

Manique Gunaratne

Skype – manique.g

 

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, President of Internet Society spoke on “Women Internet Governance Forum” in the radio programme titled “Anduren Eliyata” at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in June 2017.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique Gunaratne, Sagarika Wickramasekara and Sujeewa Manage recording the programme.

Audio:

 

 

Manique Gunaratne

E-mail – maniqueg@empfed.lk     manique.g@gmail.com

 

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, President, Internet Society spoke on “Digital accessibility for persons with disabilities” at the programme titled “Anduren eliyata” at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in July 2017.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique Gunaratne, Sagarika Wickramasekara and Sujeewa Manage recording the programme.

Audio:

 

 

Manique Gunaratne

Web: www.employers.lk

 

WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES SPEAK FOR THEIR RIGHTS

The Disability Organisations Joint Front organized a workshop for women with disabilities in all corners of Sri Lanka on “Women’s Rights” at Help Age Sri Lanka in May 2017. Girls and women with diverse disabilities participated at this workshop. Men with disabilities were also included for this training because it is equally important men also to be aware of women’s rights. The significance of this workshop was that majority of the resource persons were women with disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability conducted the session on rights of vision impaired women. Other speakers were, Ms. Rasanjali Pathirage, Ms. Niluka Gunawardane, Ms. Vajira and Ms. Menaka.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Sign language interpretation.

2 Manique speaking.

3 Manique conducting the training.

4 Participants.

5 Menaka conducting the session.

6 Rasanjali conducting the session.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Fax – 0094112867946

 

 

CONFERENCE OF STATE PARTIES ON UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN USA

The tenth session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (COSP) took place in June 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and Executive Committee Member of the Disability Organisations Joint Front and Ms. Rasanjali Pathirage from Association of Patients with Rheumatic Diseases (APRD) and General Secretary of the Disability Organisations Joint Front represented Sri Lanka at this conference. The United Nations and its Member States recognize the central role that persons with disabilities must play in multi-stakeholder partnerships

For achieving the SDGs for all and implementing the CRPD.

This year’s main theme was “The Second Decade of the CRPD: Inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations

In the implementation of the Convention”.

Sub-themes:

  • Addressing the impact of multiple discrimination on persons with disabilities and promoting their participation and multi-stakeholder partnerships for

Achieving the SDGs in line with the CRPD;

  • Inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action;
  • Promoting inclusive urban development and implementation of the New Urban Agenda – Habitat III.

At this year’s COSP, high-level representation from 173 States Parties and observers includes an estimate of over 40 ministerial-level participants, spoke in the general debate and other thematic discussions during the session. Also, over 75 parallel side-events was conducted by Governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, national human rights institutions, disability rights

Organizations, service providers and the private sector.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique near the globe at UN.

 

2 Group of South Asian women with disabilities at CSO Forum.

3 UN conference.

4 On day 3.

5 On day 3.

6 Inaguration of the conference.

7 Manique at the conference hall.

8 Manique and Rasanjali outside UN.

9 Manique and Rasanjali at UN.

10 Manique outside UN Head Quarters.

11 Manique outside UN.

 

12 Manique, Atif, Rama and Rasanjali.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918

 

 

EFC TRAINS PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN COMPUTER CONCEPTS

Since its inception in 2000, the Network on Disability of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) has taken strides, notably in the fields of ICT training, language and skills training and economic empowerment. The ICT Training Centre of the EFC which was launched in 2009 with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is the nucleus of the Network on Disability.  Embracing the vision of ‘productive employment through social harmony’, its objective is to develop the employability skills of persons with diverse disabilities in the country making special considerations for women and girls with disabilities as well.

Under the adept guidance of Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Manager – Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre, it has benefited more than 200 persons with diverse disabilities to date including school leavers, job seekers, undergraduates and those employed from all corners of the island.

The Training Centre fully equipped with devices and software specially designed for persons with disabilities, also collaborates with Curtin University of Technology in Australia and SLIIT (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) Malabe. The programs are also recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and within the EFC membership which consists of 650 plus companies.

The ICT Training Centre receiving the CISCO Academy status in 2014 is the latest feather in its cap. “This is a milestone of the ICT Training Centre as it is the only training centre in the country which trains people with diverse disabilities in CISCO courses. CISCO is a globally recognized IT qualification.

Recently up-graded EFC ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre with accessibility and modern technology assist persons with disabilities to receive the latest technology available and to be gainfully employed equally capable as persons with non-disabilities.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training and Disability Resource Centre started a course of study in Computer Concepts for a group of 15 persons with diverse disabilities in May 2017. Up to date EFC has trained 93 persons with disabilities in Computer Concepts.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique conducting training.

2 Group photograph.

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

 

EFC trains persons with disabilities in Microsoft word

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre started a course of study in Microsoft Word for a group of persons with diverse disabilities in February 2017. Up to date EFC has trained 175 persons with disabilities in Microsoft Word by Ms. Manique Gunaratne. The new batch of 10 trainees will receive training at the newly up graded EFC ICT Training Centre with the latest technology, software and assistive devices.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Participants at the training center.

2 Manique conducting training.

 

Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya,

Sri Lanka.

 

Asian blind union conference

The Asian Blind Union together with the Sri Lanka Council for the Blind organized an international conference on “Marrakesh treaty and inclusion of civil society” at Opuland River Face Hotel in May 2017. Vision impaired participants from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka participated at this conference. President of Asian Blind Union, Mr. S.K. Rungta, Prof. Kusumlatha Malik from India, Mr. Amaradasa Gunawardane, President Sri Lanka Council for the Blind, Ms. Manique Gunaratne – Former Executive Committee Member of Asian Blind Union, Mr. Ashoka Weerawardane and Ms. Shalika Karunaratne, Secretary Sri Lanka Council for the Blind spoke at the inauguration of the conference.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Welcoming the delegates.

2 Delegates at the head table.

3 Manique delivering a speech.

4 Standing for the National anthem.

 

Manique Gunaratne