All posts by Manique

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AT WORK PLACE

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability promotes diversity and inclusion at workplace. A member company of the Employers’ Network on Disability Hemas Group conducted interviews at EFC in July 2019 to include persons with disabilities in to their workforce.

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Interview panel with the candidates.

Manique Gunaratne

Committee Member – SPRINT Committee of Family Planning Association

VOICE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka is implementing the project on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Emergencies which was designed to address implementation gaps of the Minimum Initiative Service Package (MISP) for SRH during emergencies.

This activity is an upcoming event of SPRINT project which is implemented to ensure Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) in Emergencies by the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka. SPRINT project is at the forefront of addressing the SRH needs and gaps and the activities carried out by IPPF member associations, Ministry of Disaster Management and Disaster Relief Services Center, Ministries of Health, international and local relief agencies as well as UN agencies. Especially, the SPRINT is closely engaged with Family Health Bureau and Disaster Management Center.

By year 2019, as an output of capacity building strategy development and implementation the Family Planning Association is planning to initiate dialogue with government and non- governmental agencies which are working in emergencies. This programme is mainly aimed at identifying gaps for the service delivery to persons with disabilities and inclusion of persons with disabilities to the existing disaster response mechanism.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon conducted the session on “Voices of persons living with disabilities” at the consultative meeting on inclusion of persons with disabilities into SRH (Sexual and re-productive health) services during emergencies. The programme was held at the Marino Beach Hotel in June 2019.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique presenting.

2 Manique speaking.

3 Manique with the audience.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Sub Committee Member of Policy Development Unit of Prime Minister’s Office on Vocational, Technical Training and Employment Forcusing on Persons with Disabilities

 

ACCESS TO COMMUNICATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre prepares materials in accessible formats for persons with disabilities such as Sinhala Braille, Tamil Braille, English Braille, large print, e-copies in accessible fonts and in sign language. Please make your communications access for all. For further details please contact Ms. Manique Gunaratne on maniqueg@empfed.lk or +94 779571918.

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United

STRESS MANAGEMENT TRAINING

Stress is a normal, universal human experience. Stress can be defined as our mental, physical, emotional, and behavioural reactions to any perceived demands or threats.

Eustress (or good stress) is stress that benefits our health. We may feel challenged, but the sources of the stress are opportunities that are meaningful to us. Eustress helps provide us with energy and motivation to meet our responsibilities and achieve our goals.

Examples of eustress include graduating from college, getting married, receiving a promotion, or changing jobs.

Apart from the above reasons people with disabilities need to manage their stress due to the disability. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Training & Disability Resource Centre together with the National Institute for Mental Health started training in “Stress Management” in June 2019 for 15 persons with diverse disabilities. (vision impaired, partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing, physical disabilities, and speech difficulty and learning disabilities) the trainings are conducted by Mr. Pradeep Gunarathne of the National Institute for Mental Health.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

 

1 Session in progress.

2 Group photograph.

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter

 

BASIC SIGN LANGUAGE TRAINING FOR STAFF MEMBERS

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 are deaf aware and have

some sign language. The team will also feel more confident in approaching their deaf teammate.

 

3 Supporting each other

If you include deaf awareness and 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 Deaf Awareness and Basic Sign Language training among the staff members in the companies.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Training Centre started a training in Basic Sign Language in June 2019.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Ms. Chammi Dias conducting the session.

2 Ms. Manique Gunaratne presenting the activities of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Training & Disability Resource Centre.

3 Participants.

4 Participants.

Manique Gunaratne

Resource Person – Beyond the Reach Project of Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter

DISABILITY SENSITIVITY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS

Child Fund Sri Lanka organized a training to educate Special Education Teachers in the Northern Province on disability. Special education Teachers and Government Officers got the opportunity to learn several areas on disability which was a new experience for them. It is very important to give a quality education for children with disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon made presentations on “Accessible classrooms, Disability etiquettes, assistive devices for school children and knowledge on Braille”. The programme was held at the Thinnai Hotel in Jaffna in June 2019.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique conducting the session.

2 Manique with participants.

3 Manique with participants.

Manique Gunaratne

Manager – Specialise Training and Disability Resource Centre of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon

LIRNEASIA RESEARCH ADVISORY BOARD INCLUDES PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

LIRNEasia joined Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to the research advisory board for the disability research as part of their 2019-2021 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.

As part of this project, they seek to understand in-depth how disabled people live their lives, the short and long-term challenges they face, and their understandings of “independence.”

They aim to do this by:

  1. Documenting challenges faced by persons with disabilities through carefully designed mini-ethnographies, focused group discussions and in-depth interviews;
  2. Envisioning along with the beneficiaries, the solutions and conditions that would enable them to live more independent lives;
  3. Categorizing the identified problems and possible solutions into ICT-based solutions/assistive technologies and analog complements;
  4. Bringing together designers, software developers and beneficiaries to co-create ICT-enabled solutions/assistive technologies

LIRNEASIA seek the input of the research advisory board on the first three activities described above, specifically to provide input on the research instruments, provide feedback on research findings, envision solutions to key issues identified through the research and provide input on policy briefs.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Vice President – Rehab Lanka Sports Club for Persons with Disabilities

SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN SRI LANKA

Centre for Women Research (CENWOR) organized a workshop on “Situational Analysis to understand the context of people with disabilities in Sri Lanka” in May 2019. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Fedeeration of Ceylon conducted the session on “Violence against persons with disabilities”, on Assessing the Current Situation of Persons with Disability in Sri Lanka as a part of a project CENWOR has initiated in three districts in the country. CENWOR is at the initial stage of identifying policy makers, experts and project implementers who will be the essential stakeholders of this project.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique conducting the session.

2 Title session on screen.

3 Resource persons panel.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Disability Organisations’ Joint Front

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH IN EMERGENCIES

The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka is implementing the project on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Emergencies which was designed to address implementation gaps of the Minimum Initiative Service Package (MISP) for SRH during emergencies. SPRINT project is at the forefront of addressing these needs and gaps and the activities carried out by IPPF member associations, Ministry of Disaster Management and Disaster Relief Services Centre, Ministry of Health, international and local relief agencies as well as UN agencies. Especially, the SPRINT is closely engaged with Family Health Bureau and Disaster Management Centre.

By year 2019, the project has more activities focused on inclusion of persons with disability. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was nominated as a member with a disability for SPRINT steering committee in May 2019.

 

Manique Gunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials) and CCNA (Cisco Computer Network Associates)

 

THE ILO CENTENARY

The International Labour Organization celebrates 100 years in April 2019. The International Labour Office Sri Lanka joined the world celebrations at Nelum Pokuna. The Chief Guest was His Excellency the President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. The ILO included persons with disabilities in their 100 year celebrations.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Kandiyan dancers.

2 Logos on screen.

3 EFC staff.

4 Issuing the stamp and the first day cover.

5 Visual dance.

Manique Gunaratne

Supported Employment Officer – Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment