Category Archives: Information and Communication Technology for Persons with Disabilities

ICT TRAINING FOR VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS IN VAVUNIYA

In August 2012 The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon started the second phase of the I.C.T. training in Vavuniya (North of Sri Lanka, in war affected areas). 8 visually impaired persons were trained in Information & Communication skills for 6 months with the support of the International Labour Organisation. One of the trainees who have under gone training at the Rajagiriya training centre is the Instructor at the Vavuniya training centre. Ms. Manique Gunaratne conducts online training and visit the centre periodically for monitoring.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Group photograph

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United

 

 

WOMEN, TECH AND CHANGE INCLUDES WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES

Internews organised “Women, tech and change” the 3rd social media meet-up at Hotel Janaki in August 2017.

‘SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS MEET-UOur panel represented diverse experiences of women using technology to educate and empower our society in times of reform and change, as well as unlocking opportunities for women through technology’.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre spoke on “work as a person with a disability, using ICT to empower/educate those with and without disabilities, as well as advocating for the use of IT among people with disabilities and training them in Information & Communication Technology, focusing on work especially with women with disabilities, in training them in IT, opportunities and challenges.

Other speakers spoke on:

Savindri – spoke on experiences as an entrepreneur, using tech as a platform for new business, and also the challenges within the spheres of tech and within the sphere of the ‘corporate’ as a woman, with both other women and men – the lack of critical discourse on gender among business community.
Tehani – spoke about SAWF’s work with grassroots women’s orgs and activists in the region and use examples of how women are using tech to educate / mobilize at the grassroots level across South Asia.
Paba – spoke on online violence against women, weak policy/no policy to address this, online safety / security as a unique issue for women and girls; how these become deterrents to women’s use of tech / social Medias’ overall touching on women’s digital rights.
Iromi – spoke on experience using tech as a researcher and activist – to gather and analyse data as well as disseminate information in the interest of public service, via social media etc. by using examples of work on constitutional reform and urban development.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique at the head table.

2 Manique presenting.

3 Pannalists

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

 

GROUP OF PERSONS WITH DIVERSE DISABILITIES SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A COURSE OF STUDY IN COMPUTER CONCEPTS AT THE EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities conducts courses in a wide range of areas in the ICT field. Persons with disabilities in all corners of Sri Lanka attend training at this training centre. The training Centre also connect trainees online. A group of 13 persons with diverse disabilities successfully completed a course of study in Computer Concepts in July 2017. There were vision impaired persons, hearing impaired persons, persons with physical disabilities, wwheel chair users, persons with interlectual disabilities, slow learners and persons with multiple disabilities in this group. Up to date 84 trainees have successfully completed the course of study in Computer Concepts. All ICT courses are conducted by Manique Gunaratne who is qualified both nationally and internationally.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Trainees attending the training session.

2 Group photograph.

Manique Gunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials)

 

DISRUPT ASIA 2017 CONFERENCE INCLUDES PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

ICTA (Information & Communication Technology Agency) organised Sri Lanka’s Premier Startup Conference and Expo, Disrupt Asia 2017 at Hilton Colombo in July 2017. This was the largest gathering of the startup ecosystem of Sri Lanka.

Gender diversity is not merely an opportunity for women but creates opportunity on a larger scale for companies, the tech industry, and the economy. Here are three major areas that are impacted by gender diversity. Revenue and profitability, meeting workforce needs, economic fairness.

According to research tech space is the only one where the participation of women has decreased in the last 20 years globally. Low levels of female employment and leadership in tech should signal alarm bells, and not just for women. Gender diversity is increasingly becoming an economic argument, not merely an ethical one. So why does gender diversity even matter, anyway? What’s wrong with having a 70% male dominated profession?

Apart from gender another overlooked point would be the employability of persons with disability, How can we make a better environment where everyone is treated in a similar manner?

“Diversity In Tech: How Well Are We Doing?” panel was moderated by Zahra Cader – Senior Manager – PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Other Panelists were:

Nayeni Fernando – Former IT head of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Hiranya Fernando – CEO – Careerly Networks

Yusra Aziz Eliyas – Founder – Podi Jobs

Manique Gunaratne – Manager – Specialized Training and Disability Resource Centre of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 All pannalists.

2 Closeup of Manique presenting.

 

3 Manique presenting.

4 Screen and the participants.

Manique Gunaratne

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

 

EFC ASSISTS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

University of Kelaniya together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Disability Resource Centre developed a strategic plan to promote ICT training, awareness on technology and facilities to be provided for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities, Lecturers and relevant authorities were involved in this process. As a start of this process, Ms. Manique Gunaratne donated a Braille slate, stylus and Braille papers to a vision impaired student.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique presenting.

2 Manique with the participants.

Manique Gunaratne

FaceBook – Manique Gunaratne

 

CURTIN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities is the only Cisco Academy in Sri Lanka for persons with diverse disabilities. Dr. Iain Murrey, Course Coordinator of Curtin University of Technology in Australia has been supporting the ICT Training Centre since its inception in 2009 especially for the Cisco courses conducted at EFC. Dr. Iain Murrey had a discussion with Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon in June 2017 to promote more opportunities for persons with disabilities.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Manique and Iain at the Training Centre

 

Manique Gunaratne

Skype – manique.g

 

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, President, Internet Society spoke on “Digital accessibility for persons with disabilities” at the programme titled “Anduren eliyata” at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in July 2017.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique Gunaratne, Sagarika Wickramasekara and Sujeewa Manage recording the programme.

Audio:

 

 

Manique Gunaratne

Web: www.employers.lk

 

EFC TRAINS PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN COMPUTER CONCEPTS

Since its inception in 2000, 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 making special considerations for women and girls with disabilities as well.

Under the adept guidance of Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Manager – Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre, it has benefited more than 200 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 and software specially designed for persons with disabilities, 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 650 plus 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.

Recently up-graded EFC ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre with accessibility and modern technology assist persons with disabilities to receive the latest technology available and to be gainfully employed equally capable as persons with non-disabilities.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training and Disability Resource Centre started a course of study in Computer Concepts for a group of 15 persons with diverse disabilities in May 2017. Up to date EFC has trained 93 persons with disabilities in Computer Concepts.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique conducting training.

2 Group photograph.

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

 

EFC trains persons with disabilities in Microsoft word

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre started a course of study in Microsoft Word for a group of persons with diverse disabilities in February 2017. Up to date EFC has trained 175 persons with disabilities in Microsoft Word by Ms. Manique Gunaratne. The new batch of 10 trainees will receive training at the newly up graded EFC ICT Training Centre with the latest technology, software and assistive devices.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Participants at the training center.

2 Manique conducting training.

 

Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya,

Sri Lanka.

 

Women internet governance forum includes women with disabilities

Internet Society of Sri Lanka (ISoC Sri Lanka) Chapter conducted the first ever Women Internet Governance Forum (Women IGF) in Sri Lanka as a local event at the BMICH in May 2017.

Today, the representation of women in IT sector has been increased almost equal to the men. Even-though there are both pros and cons being a woman techie. It’s the time to talk about this topic and especially problems, difficulties and obstacles when women are reaching up to higher levels in IT industry.

Women Internet Governance Forum (Women IGF) is the platform where to raise the voice of the women of their concerns, look for answers and get the attention of the community in this regard. This initiative will move with the “Global women in IT” and “Sri Lanka National Internet Governance Forum 2017”. This was a group discussion up to 30 participants from different key areas of the society.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre did a presentation on “women with disabilities leading in the ICT field”.

The Women IGF 2017 session conducted dialogues on four topics below. The topics involved various distinguish women representatives from different areas.

Why should internet governance include consideration of gender issues?

The Internet is a feminist issue (feminists’ roles in shaping Internet policy).

Role of women in internet Governance.

Women’s voices in the public sphere.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique receiving a token of appreciation.

2 Group photograph.

3 Manique at the head table.

4 Manique

5 Manique making presentation.

6 Manique addressing the gathering.

 

Manique Gunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials)