Category Archives: Information and Communication Technology for Persons with Disabilities

LIRNEASIA RESEARCH ADVISORY BOARD INCLUDES PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

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:

  1. Documenting challenges faced by persons with disabilities through carefully designed mini-ethnographies, focused group discussions and in-depth interviews;
  2. Envisioning along with the beneficiaries, the solutions and conditions that would enable them to live more independent lives;
  3. Categorizing the identified problems and possible solutions into ICT-based solutions/assistive technologies and analog complements;
  4. 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.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Vice President – Rehab Lanka Sports Club for Persons with Disabilities

ICT COURSE OF STUDY IN WINDOWS OPERATIONS

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.

Manique Gunaratne

Skype – manique.g

ILO GBDN NEWS LETTER GIVES PUBLICITY TO EFC NETWORK ON DISABILITY

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:

 

Reading without seeing

 

Manique Gunaratne

Advisory Board – CENWOR Employment for Women with Disabilities Project

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/

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

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.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Group of trainees with Manique and Ayasana.

2 Group of trainees with Manique

3 Group photograph.

Manique Gunaratne

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

BUDDHA DESHANA IN SIGN LANGUAGE

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.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique handing over the CDs to Chandima.

2 Ayasana handing over the CDs to Ganga.

3 Ayasana handing over the CDs to Gihan.

4 Manique handing over the CDs to Mahesh.

5 Manique handing over the CDs to Mangalika.

Manique Gunaratne

Fax – 0094112867946

BRAILLE PRINTING

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.

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Braille printing.

Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya,

Sri Lanka.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR UNDER-GRADUATES WITH DISABILITIES

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.

Manique Gunaratne

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

EFC SUPPORTS NAVAGEEVANA REHABILITATION CENTRE

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon will support Navageevana Rehabilitation Centre in Tangalle in conducting training programmes for persons with disabilities in the Southern province. Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon did a study tour in January 2019 to explore the possibilities of training opportunities.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Making prosthetics.

2 Manique and Ayasana at the play house made of empty plastic bottles by children with disabilities.

3 Play house made of empty plastic bottles by children with disabilities.

4 School for children with disabilities.

5 Craft shop with craft items made by persons with disabilities.

6 Making artificial limbs.

7 Manique and Ayasana at the entrance.

8 Manique presenting the activities of the Network on Disability for staff members.

9 Welcome by Ms. Raenilene from Navageevana.

Manique Gunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials) and CCNA (Cisco Computer Network Associates)

 

EFC RELEASES BRAILLE AND LARGE PRINT POCKET CALENDARS FOR 2019

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 2019 was handed over to the Director General, EFC, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe by Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

“It is very important for vision impaired persons to expand their Braille-reading skills. 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. 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 persons with disabilities 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.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Manique Gunaratne handing over the first Braille calendar to Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe.

Manique Gunaratne

Advisory Board – CENWOR Employment for Women with Disabilities Project