The Ministry of Telecommunications & Digital Infrastructure together with the Diversity Collective Lanka organised a programme to educate women, children, youth and the society on how to stay safe online at Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla in June 2019. The Honourable Minister, Mr. Ajith Perera was the Chief Guest at this programme. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was a panellist to speak on “How to stay safe online for women with disabilities”.
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre prepares materials in accessible formats for persons with disabilities such as Sinhala Braille, Tamil Braille, English Braille, large print, e-copies in accessible fonts and in sign language. Please make your communications access for all. For further details please contact Ms. Manique Gunaratne on email@example.com or +94 779571918.
Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United
LIRNEasia joined Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to the research advisory board for the disability research as part of their 2019-2021 research cycle, through which they hope to catalyze the innovation ecosystems that will make applications based on smartphones and other ICTs widely available to contribute to independent living by persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka.
As part of this project, they seek to understand in-depth how disabled people live their lives, the short and long-term challenges they face, and their understandings of “independence.”
They aim to do this by:
Documenting challenges faced by persons with disabilities through carefully designed mini-ethnographies, focused group discussions and in-depth interviews;
Envisioning along with the beneficiaries, the solutions and conditions that would enable them to live more independent lives;
Categorizing the identified problems and possible solutions into ICT-based solutions/assistive technologies and analog complements;
Bringing together designers, software developers and beneficiaries to co-create ICT-enabled solutions/assistive technologies
LIRNEASIA seek the input of the research advisory board on the first three activities described above, specifically to provide input on the research instruments, provide feedback on research findings, envision solutions to key issues identified through the research and provide input on policy briefs.
Vice President – Rehab Lanka Sports Club for Persons with Disabilities
Since its inception in 1999, the Network on Disability of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) has taken strides, notably in the fields of ICT training, language and skills training and economic empowerment. The ICT Training Centre of the EFC which was launched in 2009 with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is the nucleus of the Network on Disability. Embracing the vision of ‘productive employment through social harmony’, its objective is to develop the employability skills of persons with diverse disabilities in the country.
Under the guidance of Ms. Manique Gunaratne, it has benefited more than200 persons with diverse disabilities to date including school leavers, job seekers, undergraduates and those employed from all corners of the Island.
The Training Centre fully equipped with devices specially designed for persons with disabilities and other software, also collaborates with Curtin University of Technology in Australia and SLIIT (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) Malabe. The programs are also recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and within the EFC membership which consists of 700 companies.
The ICT Training Centre receiving the CISCO Academy status in 2014 is the latest feather in its cap. This 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.
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre with the support of the #InternationalLabourOrganisationSri LankaOffice started a course of study in Windows Operations for 15 persons with diverse disabilities (vision impaired, partially sighted, hearing impaired, physical disabilities and slow learners) in March 2019. Up to date 90 persons with disabilities have registered to follow this course of study in Windows Operations.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Trainee learning online.
2 Group of persons with disabilities learning.
3 Group photograph.
4 Hearing impaired persons learning through sign language.
The International Labour Organisation, Global Business Disability Network news letter published an article on The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Training & Disability Resource Centre in May 2019. Please read the article on:
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.
More people around the world than ever before are studying and learning English because it has become the international language of education and business. In Sri Lanka the knowledge of English Language Communication Skills among persons with disabilities are very low. Therefore, it is very difficult to place persons with disabilities in employment in the private sector. Our aim is to promote learning and support education and professional development for people with diverse disabilities. We work hard to help learners pursue their dreams of higher education or getting a good job in English-speaking environments. 7 persons with diverse disabilities (vision impaired, partially sighted, hearing impaired, speech difficulty) successfully completed a course of study in English Language Communication Skills at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre in March 2019. The trainings were conducted by a team from the British Welfare Group, Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera with the support of the #InternationalLabourOrganisationSriLanka. The trainees were trained in conversational ability utilizing the four skills — listening, speaking, reading and writing according to an international syllabus. Up to date 14 persons with diverse disabilities have successfully completed English Language Communication Skills at the training centre.
Jinasena Training & Rehabilitation Trust together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon distributed DVD’s of teachings of Lord Buddha in sign language to hearing impaired persons in March 2019 at The EFC. In Sri Lanka hearing impaired persons have less opportunities to get information in Buddhism due to communication barriers. This is a great opportunity for hearing impaired persons.
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Braille Printing Unit prints Braille documents. In March 2019 Braille books were handed over to the sponsore to be handed over to a library so that vision impaired persons in all corners of Sri Lanka can make use of it. If anyone wish to make materials in accessible formats please contact us.
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with CIC Educational & Charitable Trust Gives scholarships for EFC trainees who are under-graduates from Universities of Sri Lanka. These scholarships are awarded every year. Two partially sighted under-graduates from University of Kelaniya received the scholarships for last year.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Mr. Chamod Nayanananda receiving the scholarship from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.
2 Ms. Umesha Adhiraj receiving the certificate from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.
Resource Person – Beyond the Reach Project of Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter