Daily financial times newspaper gives publicity for persons with disabilities
The Daily Financial Times newspaper published an article titled “EFC ICT Training Centre releases Braille and large print pocket calendars for 2016” in January 2016. Please read the article on:
EFC on air for the first “anduren eliyata” programme for the year at the sri lanka broadcasting corporation
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation gave the opportunity to the EFC Network on Disability to broadcast the first “Anduren Eliyata” programme in January 2016. Ms. Manique Gunaratne spoke on new thoughts for the new year and publishing of Braille and large print pocket calendars for the vision impaired persons.
Manique and Sujeewa recording the programme.
EFC ict training centre releases braille and large print pocket calendars for 2016
It is the time of the year when many look for calendars for the newly dawned year, either for personal use or as a gift. Visually impaired and low-vision people can now find a readable calendar of their own. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon’s (EFC) ICT Training Centre offers free pocket Braille and large print calendars every year. The first Braille and large print calendar for 2016 was handed over to the Director General, EFC, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe by Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Manager, ICT Training Centre recently at the EFC.
“It is very important for vision impaired persons to expand their Braille-reading skills,” notes Ms. Gunaratne. She adds that the only method to evaluate the literacy rate of vision impaired persons is Braille. “Literacy is so important. There are talking devices, but there is nothing quite like the written word. It is so important for blind children and adults to learn to read, just as it is important for sighted people to read,” she observes. EFC Braille calendars are an absolute must for any blind adult or child on the go. They are fast, easy to use, efficient and a real necessity today.
The EFC ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities removes barriers, creates solutions and expands possibilities, so that the visually-impaired can achieve their full potential.
The Braille calendars are distributed free among EFC ICT trainees and other vision impaired persons in all corners of the country. EFC ICT Training Centre provides many services for persons with disabilities. Developing technologies and ICT skills are the key roles of the ICT Training Centre. Todate it has trained about 170 persons with disabilities on ICT skills. There are several courses conducted at this training centre. Each year the training centre is upgraded with equipment and with modern courses to suit the contemporary job market. The trainees are awarded well recognized certificates and the courses conducted are recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission where the certificates carry the TVEC registration number.
The ICT courses are not limited to Colombo. The training centre extended its services to the North in 2011. Library facilities with accessible formats are available at this Centre which caters to all persons in the disability field. Special assistive devices for persons with disabilities make this Centre more popular among persons with disabilities. These assistive devices are unique and they are available only at EFC.
The ICT training is now a Cisco academy. It also conducts international courses in collaboration with Cisco, Curtin University of Technology Australia and Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT).
Ms. Manique Gunaratne handing over the first Braille calendar to the Director General, EFC, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe.
Developing advocacy policies for persons with disabilities
Many people with disabilities do not identify themselves as disabled or choose not to be part of a politically active community of disabled persons. Advocacy is both the barriers to the formation of a social movement of disabled people and the ways in which these barriers have been overcome. The role of public policy in the evolution of this movement is discussed, as are the current status and prospects of the disability rights movement. It is very important for persons with disabilities to fight for their own rights. Long time ago it was the charity based model which was adopted in the society. Then it was the medical based model. There after it turned out to social based model. The modern trend is the rights based model. Developing advocacy policies is very important for the way forward. Leading disability activist from South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East were selected to develop the advocacy policy. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability represented this workshop. The participant team was highly knowledgeable. Therefore the outcome was good. The workshop was held at Radisson Blue Martinez Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon. It was not just a workshop. The policy developed in December 2015 will be used for future reference.
‘Working together to promote diversity and inclusion
focusing on people with disabilities’
It was an evening to bring together people with disabilities and people with not yet with a disability. It is nothing about us without us. Always it should be inclusion. Leonard Cheshire Disability and Western Seaton Cheshire Home, Negomboorganised a conference on ‘Working together to promote diversity and inclusion focusing on people with disabilities at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in November 2015. The welcome address was by Mr. Anthony Fernando,
Chairman, Leonard Cheshire Disability -Regional Council –Asia and
National Council- Sri Lanka.Ms. RevathyRugmini, Regional Representative, Leonard Cheshire Disability Asia and Pacific spoke on Setting the Context. Inaugural address was done by Major General GaminiHettiarachchi (retd), Chairman/CEO of Vocational Training Authority. Dr. SanthiyapillaiKeethaponkalan, Manager, Wester Seaton Cheshire Home spoke on the Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities – Initiatives of Wester Seaton Cheshire Homes. The presentation on Inclusion matters – focusing on empowerment of people of all abilities was done by Advocate of Design for Inclusion and Accessibility Advisor,Dr. Ajith C S Perera. Mr. Sydney Dabare,Principal, German Technical Training Institute, Borella spoke on Exploring skill development opportunities of persons with disabilities. Major SurenBandara, HR Manager Global Intimates shared his experience on Work place inclusion and challenges faced by him. Inclusion from a development and Human rights perspective was done by Ms. Nadia Cannata, Programme Manager – Action Head of Operations, European Union. Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sri Lanka explained the Scope of workplace inclusion of persons with disabilities. Mr. Chaminda Kumar (Person with orthopedic disability) shared his experience as an employee with a disability. Donor perspective to promote inclusion was done by Mr. Damian Fernando– Secretary, Sri Lanka Association of Parents of Deaf Children. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability spoke on employment opportunities for vision impaired persons. Issues and challenges when Empowering persons with disabilities was done by Mrs. KumudhuSumedhaSanjeevani Senior Lecturer University of Kelaniya. Finally there was a discussion on reasonable accommodation.
1 At the head table.
3 Lighting of the oil lamp.
4 Manique making the presentation at the head table.