Presidential Secretariat invited Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to participate in an initial discussion on access to assistive technology (AT)/products to better respond to the needs of people with disabilities.

This discussion was organized in partnership with the Coordinating Centre for Students with Disabilities (CCSD) of the University of Kelaniya, the Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) of the University of Kelaniya, Centre for Disability Research, Education and Practice  (CEDREP) of the University of Colombo and the Students’ Association for the Visually- Impaired of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

The aim of this discussion was to generate a critical conversation on access to AT/products by reviewing and evaluating the current ground level realities connected to policies, products, procurement, personnel and provision of AT/products through narratives on the lived experiences of persons with disabilities and other key stakeholders.

This we hope would lead to the identification of key areas for further discussion with a wider representation of stakeholders with a view to inform the national action Plan for Disabilities and formulating a clear road-map to enable ‘access for all’ by 2030 through a national policy on AT and national AT programmes.

Through this discussion, we hope to encourage a critical conversation on:

  1. The current local barriers and facilitators to accessing AT/products and examples of best practices and service delivery models
  2. Mechanisms to determine the current grassroots-level need for AT/products across the country
  3. Key areas for wider discussion with a larger group of stakeholders in a follow-up meeting to formulate a national policy and programmes on AT/products.

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094117801801

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