Category Archives: Employment for Persons with Disabilities



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


CENWOR will be conducting a research on “Employment for women with disabilities”. The UN Women funded research will be very useful to empower women with disabilities in the grassroots level. An Orientation and Training Workshop for Enumerators & Field Research supervisors was held at the CENWOR auditorium in November 2017. Ms. Manique Gunaratne, member of the Advisory Board for the Project conducted the sessions on “Disability etiquettes and Accessible formats”.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique at the head table with the board members.

2 Manique presenting.

3 Manique presenting.

(Honoured, Deshabandu) Ms. H.K. Manique Gunaratne


Sustainability is the key for global development. The corporate world is no exception, and therefore has further recognized the value of this concept by adopting policies and practices that guarantee and promote sustainability within their respective ventures.  A Sustainable Enterprise is defined as a business that ‘meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs’.

Being a responsible National Employer Organization that constantly works towards achieving the best interests of the Employers whilst taking note of the interests of other stakeholders, The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon decided to theme this year’s Annual Employers’ Symposium on Sustainable Enterprises – Creating Value’.

The Symposium was held in November 2017, at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, with a view to offering the Sri Lankan Corporates the opportunity to find workable solutions in implementing sustainable business practices that would enable them to create value to their businesses through better governance, talent retention, environmentally friendly business practices and successful management of logistics.

The Hon. Minister for Skills Development and Vocational Training was the Chief Guest.  Dr. Raman Ramachandran, Head of BASF for South Asia and Chairman/Managing Director of BASF companies in India, was the Guest of Honour and delivered the keynote address. BASF is the largest chemical producer in the world and Dr. Ramachandran, who holds over 25 years of diversified experience in research, operations, new market development and strategic planning, offered participants insights into developing strategies to meet future business challenges as well as those relating to the world of work.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne spoke on the “Employers’ Network on Disability to make diversity and inclusion at work place”.

The four panels in key areas of enterprise sustainability, comprised of erudite experts from their respective industries were as follows;

  • Governance
  • Managing Talent
  • Green Initiatives
  • Supply Chain

The Symposium was an excellent opportunity for participants to share their experience and gain knowledge and insight not only with regard to the emerging trends of sustaining enterprises but was also an excellent networking platform.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 EFC staff members.

2 Manique with the audience.

3 Manique presenting.

4 EFC staff members.

Manique Gunaratne

FaceTime: 0094779571918


The “ILO Global Business and Disability Network 4th annual meeting and “National Business and Disability Networks ways forward for international collaboration” was held at the ILO Head Quarters in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2017. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre made a presentation on “Activities of the Employers’ Network on Disability – Sri Lanka” at this event.


The ILO (International Labour Organisation) GBDN (Global Business and Disability Network) is a unique employers-led worldwide

Network of multinational companies, national employers’

Organizations, business networks and disabled people

Organizations (DPOs) working in collaboration to promote

The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workplace.

This year’s annual meeting highlighted the importance of

Digital accessibility for business success, showcase how skills

Gaps can be addressed by promoting disability-inclusive

Practices and provide a rare opportunity to exchange

Experiences and network among disability champions from

The private sector. During the meeting, there was also a

Welcome ceremony for the new members of the network.

There are National Business and Disability Networks (NBDNs) in over twenty countries. Many of these are developing or newly established. The ILO hosted this meeting to bring the networks and other international organizations together for the first time. Through both online and physical participation, NBDNs from all over the world shared their status, challenges and future plans.


Together with members of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) and other key stakeholders, the meeting identified key issues to be addressed and points for collaboration. The meeting was particularly focused on supporting newly-established networks in developing countries.


Technical sessions covered:

  • Understanding the current situation of National and Business and Disability Networks around the world.
  • Technical support to national networks: what exists and what is needed in the future.
  • Allies and Advocacy: working with other stakeholders and influencing the enabling environment
  • Way forward for collaboration between national networks.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

1 Day 1 Manique with the banner.

2 Day 1 conference.

3 Day 1 Manique  and Federica.

4 Day 1 group photograph.

5 Day 1 Manique.


6 Day 2 Manique with the participants.

7 Day 2 Manique at conference.

8 Day 2 Manique making presentation.

9 Manique with the ILO flags.

10 GBDN steering committee meeting.

11 Manique at United Nations.

12 United Nations.

Manique Gunaratne

Viber: 0094779571918


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre conducts “Employer Sensitisation” programmes for companies. Ms. Manique Gunaratne trained the staff members of DIMO (Pvt) Ltd. On “Disability etiquettes” to promote diversity and inclusion of the company.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique presenting.

2 Manique with the participants.

Manique Gunaratne

FaceBook – Manique Gunaratne


Empowering Persons with Disabilities is important to address the prevailing issues of social and economic inclusion of Persons with Disability in Sri Lanka.  To address the issue of social and economic inclusion, the Prime Minister’s Office has established a sub-Committee on Vocational and Technical Training focusing on Persons with Disabilities and in line with the government’s “Vision 2025”. This committee represents many stakeholders from the private sector, including State Vocational Training Institutions under the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training and Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare.

The Sub-Committee scheduled a “Train the Trainer Program” in September 2017 for private sector companies who are passionate in lending a hand to persons with disabilities. The Train the Trainer Program was held at the Training Institute for Technical Professionals (TITP).

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre conducted the training sessions on “Disability etiquettes” on day 1, “Accessible formats for persons with disabilities” on day 2 and “Access to build environment” on day 3.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Day 1 Manique conducting the session

2 Day 1 participants.

3 Day 2 Manique conducting the session.

4 Day 2 Manique instructing on sighted guide technique.

5 Day 2 participants.

6 Day 3 Manique conducting the session.

Manique Gunaratne

Fax – 0094112867946