All posts by Manique


The Disability Organisations’ Joint Front organized a walk and a rally to celebrate International Day for Persons with Disabilities in December 2017. Persons with diverse disabilities from all walks of Sri Lanka gathered at the Hyde Park. Persons with diverse disabilities walked to Viharamahadevi Park requesting to give their rights and had a gathering speaking of their rights.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Participants with the DOJF banner.

2 Manique with the banner.

3 Manique and Rasanjali

4 Manique and Sandamali.

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966



In December 2017, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka and their partners at Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) hosted a conference on the deinstitutionalization and alternative care of children in Sri Lanka at Grand Oriental Hotel. By bringing together local-level field officers and policymakers at every level of the government, as well as Civil Society Organizations, practitioners, academia, media, Child Care Institutions, care leavers and community members, they helped to change the discourse around alternative care in Sri Lanka. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialized Training & Disability Resource Centre serves as an Advisory Group member focusing on children with disabilities. Following matters were taken into consideration:

8 teams from ‘Locational Circles’ (i.e. groups of government field officers involved in child protection and community health and development) across the country including Anuradhapura, Batticoloa, Galle, Jaffna, Matara, Monaragala, Nuwara Eliya and Piliyandala outlined their action plans for deinstitutionalisation in their districts. These were designed specifically to consider specific problems and causes of institutionalisation and vulnerability among children and create attainable and effective ways to tackle these issues at a local level. The key attributes include:

  1. Forming groups among parents, children and community members to address issues of socialisation, sexual and physical abuse, exploitation, protective and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education, and substance abuse, especially alcohol.
  2. Gathering information from these groups, and finding the underlying reasons for family separation and vulnerability.
  3. Delivering supportive programmes, including income generation training and support, counselling and psychosocial services.
  4. Educating families in financial management to more effectively live within their income.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Advisory group members.

Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka.


University of Kelaniya conducted a training session for under-graduates with disabilities on employment. MAS Holdings and World University Services of Canada (WUSC) made presentations. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre conducted the session on “Role of EFC on employment for persons with disabilities”. The programme was held at the English Language Training Unit in December 2017.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Imalka De Silva presenting.

2 Manique Gunaratne presenting.

3 Participants.

4 Dr. Shyamani Hettiarachchi presenting.


Manique Gunaratne

Advisory Board – CENWOR Employment for Women with Disabilities Project


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities provides scholarships for under-graduates with disabilities for their University education with the support of the CIC Educational & Charitable Trust. This year two vision impaired under-graduates from University of Kelaniya and University of Peradeniya received scholarships at the EFC ICT Graduation held at the Sri Lanka Foundation in November 2017.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Mr. Chamod Ruwanga from University of Kelaniya receiving the scholarship.

2 Ms. Rasika Rathnayake from University of Peradeniya receiving the scholarship.


Manique Gunaratne

Vice Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum



The ICT Training Centre receiving the CISCO Academy status in 2014 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.” Specialists reveal that persons with CISCO qualifications are often ranked in the top three highest paid slots. CISCO’s own research indicates that certified professionals often earn as much as 10% more than peers without CISCO credentials working in similar routing and networking jobs.

The demand for IT workers with CISCO certifications often outstrips the supply.

Manique Gunaratne is the only person with a disability in Sri Lanka to receive the qualification both in Cisco Information Technology Essentials (ITE) and Cisco CCNA (Cisco Computer Network Associate). Along with the certificates she received a special recommendation letter from Cisco International. Now she will join the international team of Cisco trainers.


The Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE), European Union of Supported Employment and University of Kelaniya  organized a series of training workshops and associated practitioner observation study visits in Belfast, Northern Ireland, related to Supported Employment for individuals at disadvantage in accessing employment due to disability.

Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment is a non-governmental organisation promoting employment and vocational training opportunities for people with disabilities and people from other disadvantaged situations through the Supported Employment model. The Supported Employment model assists people with significant disabilities to access and stay in employment in the open labour market by providing individualised and on-going support. Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment is a membership based organisation representing persons with diverse disabilities organisations (physical, learning, mental health, sensory and hidden disabilities) from across Northern Ireland.

Along with attending the training workshops and associated practitioner observation study visits, and also to organise meetings and visits to a range of Supported Employment organisations as well as meeting with relevant Government Departments and agencies (i.e. Department for Communities, Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety). NIUSE has also links with third level academic institutions, such as Queens University and the University of Ulster across a number of faculties if our organization would wish to form links.

In addition, NIUSE currently holds the Presidency of the European Union of Supported Employment through Margaret Haddock who is the Chair of NIUSE.

9 women qualified as Supported Employment Offices as the first 9 Supported Employment Officers in Sri Lanka. Manique Gunaratne is the only woman with a disability to be qualified as a Supported Employment Officer from the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment.


Manique Gunaratne received all the above certificates at the EFC ICT Graduation held at the Sri Lanka Foundation in November 2017. The Chief Guest Ms. Simring Singh, Country Director, International Labour Organisation awarded the certificates to Ms.  Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique receiving the certificates.


Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member for Advocacy and Lobbying for Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Sri Lanka Foundation for Rehabilitation of the Disabled

Finger reader

FingerReader aims to create an assistive device that sustainably change how the visually impaired community can independently access information on the go. Accessing visual information in a mobile context is a major challenge for the blind.

Designed and developed by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the FingerReader empowers the communities who would otherwise have no access to assistive technology because they were either too expensive or did not fulfill the user expectations.

Engagements with blind people reveal numerous difficulties with existing state-of-the-art technologies including problems with accuracy, mobility, efficiency, cost, and more importantly social exclusion. The design of FingerReader address these challenges as it is a finger-worn accessory that allows users to simply point at products, restaurant menus, signs etc. to perform a recognition and interpretation task on what the FingerReader sees and hear the result spoken to him or her through a headset.

Dialog joined hands with SUTD to deploy FingerReader devices in Sri Lanka to support Sri Lanka’s visually impaired community.

The expert team members are Prof. Suranga Nanayakkara, Mr. Roger Boldu and Mr. Haimo Zhang.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with Dialog and Singapore University of Technology & Design launched the Finger Reader mobile app at the EFC ICT Graduation held at the Sri Lanka Foundation in November 2017.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Launch of the mobile app.


Manique Gunaratne

Council Member – Cisco Networking Academy Council



Schmoozer is a mobile application that supports vision impaired individuals to read documents, which contains images, graphs and equations. The mobile application allows vision impaired individuals to auto capture and upload images of a printed document to the server. Then provides voice output to them within 2 – 3 minutes. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) launched the Schmoozer mobile app at the EFC ICT Graduation held at the Sri Lanka Foundation in November 2017. The expert team members are Mr. Anuradha Jayakody, Ms. Narmada Gamage, Mr. Wenura Jayadewa, Mr. Ashan Lokuge, Ms. Bhagya Senanayake and Ms. Manique Gunaratne.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Launch of the Schmoozer mobile app.


Manique Gunaratne

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