Category Archives: Employment for Persons with Disabilities


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre is conducting Soft Skills training for persons with diverse disabilities (persons with vision impairment, persons with hearing impairment, persons with speech difficulties, slow learners, persons with physical disabilities, wheel chair users and partially sighted persons). The module on Office and table etiquettes was conducted by Jetwing Hotels at Jetwing Blue Hotel in Negombo in June 2018. Persons with disabilities got the opportunity to learn the proper method of dining etiquettes.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 At the beach.

2 Sign language interpretations.

3 Chandima thanking the trainers.

4 Training on how to have a 3 course meal.

5 Group photograph.

6 Training on office etiquettes.

7 Having the main meal.

8 Training on dining etiquettes.

9 Journey to Jetwing Blue Hotel.


10 Manique presenting.

11 Briefing by the hotel for the participants.

Manique Gunaratne



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Employers’ Federation of Ceylon’s Network on Disability celebrates ICT Graduation

“When we talk of sustainable enterprises, we need to assure that no one in society is left behind. The Employers’ Network on Disability of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) – which champions this notion was set up way back in 1999 – is a reflection of the foresight of my predecessors of the requirements in the ever-evolving world of work,” observed the Director General of the EFC, Kanishka Weerasinghe.

Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918


UN Women commissioned a research to CENWOR on “Strengthening Gender Responsiveness of Employment Sector Policies and Programmes: A Focus on women with disabilities. In relation to this study CENWOR together with UN Women India trained the women collectives, who are actively working for women with disabilities, to claim their rights on employment using gender responsive framework. In order to give an introduction to GRB, CENWOR conducted a basic training on GRB in February 2018 at CENWOR Auditorium.

Dr. Swapna Bist Joshi, who has more than ten years of progressive and diverse experience in the field of development research with focus on public policy and expenditure and expert in Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB), Gender Mainstreaming and Trainings, was the resource person.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre participated to contribute to employment for women with disabilities.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

1 Attending the session.

2 Participants.

Manique Gunaratne

Vice President – Rehab Lanka Sports Club for Persons with Disabilities


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre trains persons with diverse disabilities in employability skills. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon has 680 member companies and 66 member companies in the membership of the Employers’ Network on Disability. An EFC member company which is also a member of the Employers’ Network on Disability recruited a vision impaired person into their work force to promote diversity and inclusion at work place.


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


In January 2012, Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon went to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the Inclusive Business Roundtable Talk on Rating System

at APCD Training Building.

The concept of Inclusive Business has been brainstormed by business practitioners and leaders with disabilities. The roles of persons with disabilities in business were identified more clearly from the perspective of customers, employees and entrepreneurs. The inclusive business opportunity to expand market and utilize the potential human resources was highlighted. The key points of successful inclusive business were presented. Through the brainstorming meeting, participants agreed that the Rating System would be needed for Inclusive Business Development.

The Inclusive Business Roundtable Talk on Rating System was organized by the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and The Nippon Foundation (TNF) Exclusive participants discussed more deeply about Rating System of Inclusive Business. It is expected that the findings from regional perspective will support business to maximize emerging business opportunity.


Manique Gunaratne

Skype – manique.g



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 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