Category Archives: Assistive Devices for Persons with Disabilities

HEARING AID MOBILE APP

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre together with Dialog Axiata PLC supported hard of hearing persons to hear well through a mobile app in September 2019. 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 Ashan, Lawanath and Nithila testing the mobile app.

2 Chanaka and the group testing the mobile app.

3 Group of hard of hearing persons together with EFC and Dialog team.

4 Irupan, Nimesha, Malki and Pubudini testing the mobile app.

5 Tharusha explaining the app to Irfan.

6 University under-graduates testing the app.

7 Hard of hearing under-graduates testing the app.

8 Tharusha explaining the advantages of the mobile app.

9 Manique and Tharusha with Irfan and Pubudini.

Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918

MOBILE APP FOR VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS TO READ LOTTERY TICKETS

A team headed by Dr. Anuradha Jayakody from The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) together with Ms. Manique Gunaratne took the initiative in developing a mobile app for vision impaired persons to read lottery tickets in September 2019. This mobile app will support vision impaired persons to read the numbers of the lottery ticket, get the winning numbers and rewards. This mobile app will also support vision impaired lottery ticket sellers to connect with the Lotteries Board and support them with necessary support.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Ms. Krishani Jayaweera, Mr. Chamara Dayarathne, Mr. Dilan Jayaweera, Mr. Narendra Bangamuwage and Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

Manique Gunaratne

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

EFC LOW VISION TRAINEES ARE SUPPORTED WITH HAND MAGNIFIERS

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre in partnership with the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front and Syloan Centre for the Blind in Korea donated hand magnifiers to EFC trainees in July 2019. Low vision trainees are now able to read documents with the support with these magnifiers. Job seekers, university students and low vision persons who are employed are now able to read documents with the support of these magnifiers. Ms. Manique Gunaratne handed over the magnifiers to the trainees.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Trainees receiving magnifiers from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

 

Manique Gunaratne

E-mail – maniqueg@empfed.lk     manique.g@gmail.com

DEVELOPING SOFTWARE AND ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with Dr. Anuradha Jayakody and the students of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) is initiating to develop a out door navigation device for vision impaired persons.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Group photograph.

Manique Gunaratne

Blog: http://efcnetworkondisability.employers.lk/

 

SENSITIZING MEDICAL STUDENTS ON DISABILITY

The Department of Disability Studies in University of Kelaniya together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon gave hands on experience to medical students on assistive devices for persons with disabilities in February 2019. The assistive devices exhibition was a good opportunity for medical students to understand the importance of using devices to work equally capable as persons with non-disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera, Mr. Chamod Nayanananda and Ms. Samudra Gamage supported the medical students to understand the tasks of each device. Ms. Manique Gunaratne also made a presentation on “Difficulties faced by persons with disabilities when accessing health care facilities”.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Medical students participating at the programme.

2 Manique, Ayasana, Chamod and Samudra at the exhibition.

3 Manique, Chamod and Samudra with the assistive devices.

 

4 Manique explaining the devices.

5 Manique making a presentation.

6 Dr. Shyamini Hettiarachchi conducting a session.

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

 

ACCESSIBILITY & ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

LIRNEasia, a not for profit think tank has been conducting research on inclusion across theAsia Pacific. Lirneasia have conducted quantitative and qualitative research on disability accessand facilitated the development of mobile apps for inclusion.

Lirneasia organized a forum in August 2018 to discuss how ICTs facilitate independent living forpeople with disabilities and well as current gaps in assistive technologies in Sri Lanka. Dinesh Kaushal from India facilitated the meeting and shared his ideas and answered relevant questions on assistive technologies.

Dinesh is an internationally known developer with over 14 years of experience in designingand developing screen readers for vision impaired persons. Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon joined the discussion on how to move forward with this concept.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United

 

 

 

 

ACCESSIBILITY & ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

LIRNEasia, a not for profit think tank has been conducting research on inclusion across the

Asia Pacific. Lirneasia have conducted quantitative and qualitative research on disability access

and facilitated the development of mobile apps for inclusion.

Lirneasia organized a forum in August 2018 to discuss how ICTs facilitate independent living for

people with disabilities and well as current gaps in assistive technologies in Sri Lanka. Dinesh Kaushal from India facilitated the meeting and shared his ideas and answered relevant questions on assistive technologies.

Dinesh is an internationally known developer with over 14 years of experience in designing

and developing screen readers for vision impaired persons. Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon joined the discussion on how to move forward with this concept.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United

FINGER READER

Singapore University of Technology & Design, University of Moratuwa, Dialog and The Emplloyers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre developed the Finger Reader device. Vision impaired ICT trainees of The Employerss’ Federation of Ceylon assisted to further develop this app with their valuable inputs for the research. The research was done in April and May 2018 at the EFC.

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.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique speaking.

2 Manique with Tharaka and Peniel from University of Moratuwa.

3 Vision impaired trainees doing the research.

4 Research team from University of Moratuwa and EFC trainees.

5 Tharidu with the supporting team from Dialog.

Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Disability Organisations’ Joint Front

ACCESS TO ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

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