All posts by Manique

DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS FOR
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Disabilities vary widely in type, severity, stability, duration and time of onset. These
characteristics influence individual capacities and willingness to become entrepreneurs and to
sustain such a status. Self-employment is appropriate for many in this population because it
can provide more flexibility than paid employment in terms of workload, work schedule and
work location, which can allow for better management of disability and lifestyle. Efforts are
needed to increase awareness about the desirability and feasibility of entrepreneurship by
people experiencing disabilities, both among disabled and non-disabled populations. There is
some evidence that targeted entrepreneurship training and start-up support programmes can
be effective for disabled people, but they are expensive to deliver and the size of the target
group will not always justify separate provision. There is strong potential to adapt existing
training and start-up programmes to the needs of persons with disability. Business advisors
should be ready to recommend self-employment as a career option to the people with
disability, longer support should be available if necessary, adapted formats (such as sign
language and Braille) should be used, and language should be adapted to the realities of the
clients. Partnerships between business support organisations and specialist disabled support
organisations can also help.
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre
implements several programmes to develop Entrepreneurship Skills of people with
disabilities. The Training Centre started a new course of study in Cookery for Entrepreneurs
with disabilities in February 2020. The trainings are conducted by Ms. Mahila
Wickramasekera . Women with diverse disabilities (multiple disability and learning
disability) will be trained in Cookery to start up their own businesses.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Training session.
2 Conducting the training.
3 Participants.
Manique Gunaratne
Web: www.employers.lk

PETRELEX HEARING AID MOBILE APP

PETRELEX HEARING AID MOBILE APP

Dialog Axiata PLC together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training
& Disability Resource Centre supported hard of hearing persons to hear well through a
mobile app in February 2020. EFC hard of hearing trainees were thrilled with joy when they
could hear well through this mobile app instead of the hearing aid. This mobile app will
support them to to enhance their employability skills and improve their educational level.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Hearing impaired trainees using the app.
2 Tharusha explaining the app.
Manique Gunaratne
E-mail – maniqueg@empfed.lk manique.g@gmail.com

AUSTRALIAN AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GRADUATES WITH DISABILITIES

AUSTRALIAN AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR
GRADUATES WITH DISABILITIES
Do you want to be a leader in your field and make a difference in Sri Lanka? Australia
Awards Scholarships are your opportunity to gain a world class education and become an
emerging leader for development with strong links to Australia. EFC Specialised Training &
Disability Resource Centre opened the doors to graduates with disabilities to develop their
career with a Master’s degree in Australia. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together
with the Australia Awards team conducted a training on how to apply for the scholarship in
February 2020. An Australia Awards Scholarship provides with the opportunity to gain an
internationally recognised qualification from an Australian university. Career of persons with
disabilities will benefit from new knowledge, leadership skills and the links they create both
in Australia and through the global alumni network. On their return home they can make a
vital contribution to the economic and social development of Sri Lanka. This will support to
create an environment with dignity and justice for all persons with disabilities.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Participants.
2 Participants.
3 Conducting the session.
Manique Gunaratne
Fax – 0094112867946

PROMOTING ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

PROMOTING ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH
DISABILITIES
EFC Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre develop, promote and train persons
with diverse disabilities in assistive devices. In February 2020 A team from Dialog Axiata
discussed the possibilities of promoting assistive devices to make reasonable accommodation
and make persons with disabilities equally capable as persons with non-disabilities. This will
enable them to develop their employability skills.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
Team members
Manique Gunaratne
Mobile – 0094779571918

MICROSOFT EXCEL FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

MICROSOFT EXCEL FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
The EFC Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre started a course of study in
Microsoft Excel for a group of 15 persons with diverse disabilities (vision impaired, partially
sighted, deaf and hard of hearing, physical disabilities, wheel chair users, multiple disabilities
and persons with learning disabilities) in January 2020.
Since its inception in 1999, 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.
Under the guidance of Ms. Manique Gunaratne, it has benefited school leavers, job seekers,
undergraduates and those employed from all corners of the Island.
The Training Centre fully equipped with devices specially designed for persons with
disabilities and other software, 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.
The Training Centre conducts 23 courses for persons with disabilities.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Manique conducting the session with sign language interpretation.


2 Group photograph.


Manique Gunaratne
Tel. – 0094117801801

ACCESS TO INFORMATION – MAKE YOUR DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR ALL

ACCESS TO INFORMATION – MAKE YOUR DOCUMENTS
AVAILABLE FOR ALL
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. For further details please contact Manique Gunaratne on maniqueg@empfed.lk or
on 0779571918.
The “Wonder Cristal” or the “Puduma Palinguwa” children’s book written by Sibil
Weththasinghe and sponsored by Ceylon Biscuits PLC was converted into Braille, large
print, audio and accessible e-copies in all three languages by the EFC Specialised
Training & Disability Resource Centre in January 2020. It was a Guinness World
record with the most number of endings written by children themselves.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
Manique handing over the “Puduma Palinguwa” books in accessible formats to the
officials of Ceylon Biscuits PLC.
Manique Gunaratne
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,
385 J3 Old Kotte Road,
Rajagiriya,
Sri Lanka.

SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY

SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY What is disability? What difficulties do persons with disability face in everyday life? How can we solve these issues? And what can we do to support them? These are the questions we need to answer, not by words but by our actions. The answers to these questions are in relation to the employment of persons with disability. The answers are Supported Employment and Job Coach. JICA (Japan International Corporation Agency) introduced Supported Employment and Job Coach, and conceptual foundations of the Social Model of disability as a new perspective on disability and twin-track approach as a strategic framework of action on disability. The Japanese JICA delegates had a discussion with Ms. Manique Gunaratne to promote Supported Employment in Sri Lanka. The JICA delegates also conducted a Supported Employment workshop at the Ministry of Social Services in January 2020.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique with the Japanese delegates at EFC.

2 Manique with the Japanese delegates at EFC.

3 Manique attending the workshop at the Ministry of Social Services.

4 Participants at the workshop.

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

RESEARCH ON AN INDOOR NAVIGATION TOOL

RESEARCH ON AN INDOOR NAVIGATION TOOL
Ms. Nimalika Fernando with the support of Ms. Manique Gunaratne are doing a
project to develop better path planning methods for the navigation of vision impaired
people inside buildings, to be used by electronic tools. It is a PhD project conducted at
the Curtin University of Technology in Australia in January 2020. As part of the
project a survey was done to:
(a) interviewing people with reduced vision on what methods they use and what
support they may expect from an indoor travel aid.
(b) Observing how people with reduced vision find their way inside buildings to find
their way.
(c) interviewing Orientation & Mobility Instructors on indoor navigation methods
and what support they may expect from an indoor travel aid for their trainees.
Around 30 vision impaired participants from the EFC Specialised Training &
Disability Resource Centre gave their ideas on the above matter. The observational
study was also done at the Centre.
This research will have a positive impact on the vision impaired community in the
long run.
Picture description for vision impaired persons:
Manique and Nimalika.

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

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES
PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Mr. Nalinda Basnayake of Shangri-La Hotel and a trainee from
the EFC Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre spoke on “Technopreneurship for
Social Change” at a half an hour radio programme titled “Anduren eliyata” at the Sri Lanka
Broadcasting Corporation in January 2020. The programme was produced by Mr. Sujeewa
Manage.
Picture description for vision impaired persons:
Manique, Nalinda and Sujeewa recording the programme.
Audio:

Manique Gunaratne
Vice President – Rehab Lanka Sports Club for Persons with Disabilities