Category Archives: Information and Communication Technology for Persons with Disabilities

Internet governance forum includes persons with disabilities

Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter is a front runner in Sri Lankan Internet Arena from its establishment from the year of 2010. They have conducted many Internet related events, forums, and projects to uplift the standards of living of the people of the Country.

Accessibility is one of core areas that we concern in the path to the Next Billionth User. The issues of under connected and unconnected we found that community with disability a hidden area of interest of many activities in the Internet arena. So the Accessibility for the Internet for All is being one of the major topics on ISOC Sri Lanka’s agenda.

Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre organized the “Digital Accessibility Forum” at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in May 2017 at the BMICH.

The key note speech was delivered by Ministry of Digital and Telecommunication Infrastructure. Ms. Manique Gunaratne did the presentation on “how to make web sites accessible for persons with disabilities”. The role of web developers was presented by The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT). Mobitel spoke on the role of internet service providers and Commercial Bank spoke on Digital Banking for persons with disabilities.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique making a presentation.

2 Sign language interpretation by Chammi.

3 Manique lighting the oil lamp.

4 Manique presenting.

5 With The Participants.

 

6 Speakers at the head table with banner.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Disability Organisations’ Joint Front

 

DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 

The Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter together Internet Society Asia Pacific Region organized the “Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities” at Cinnamon Grand Hotel in March 2017.

Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter is a front runner in Sri Lankan Internet Arena from its establishment from the year of 2010. ISOC has conducted many Internet related events, forums, and projects to uplift the standards of living of the people of the Country.

Accessibility is one of core areas that ISOC is concerned in the path to the Next Billionth User. The issues of under connected and unconnected ISOC found that community with disability a hidden area of interest of many activities in the Internet arena. So the Accessibility for the Internet for All is being one of the major topics on ISOC Sri Lanka’s agenda.

During the past ISOC reached persons with disabilities carrying trainings and the attempt is highly appreciated all around the globe. Thus ISOC APAC invited the Sri Lanka Chapter to jointly organise “Accessibility Sri Lanka 2017 “with following objectives.

  • Built capacity of developer’s community on needs and requirements of persons with disabilities.
  • Built capacity of developer’s community on approaches and design practices that would make their services and products accessible.
  • Invite persons with disabilities to speak and share on their accessibility challenges.  Share  best  practices  learned  from  experiences  of  the  local  stake holders  including persons with disabilities.
  • Hear  from  local  stakeholders  including  government  on  their  current  familiarity  and approaches on digital accessibility.
  • Strengthen cooperation and enhance partnerships among organizations working to address common challenges of digital accessibility.
  • Recommend approaches for strengthening policies, institutions and actions.

It was a one day program with two mini-events covered during the day.

The first half of the day was a technical workshop on accessibility, bringing in developer’s community and persons with disabilities for a face-to-face interaction and Accessibility guidelines and design principles (with practical demonstrations / Videos). President of Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter, Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara and Director of Asia Pacific Internet Society, Mr. Naveed made presentations. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training and Disability Resource Centre conducted the training on “Difficulties faced by persons with disabilities with solutions and design considerations and international standards when surfing the internet”.

The second half of the day was a multi-stakeholders dialogue on digital accessibility issues and solutions.

Discussions were on Technology Issues faced by persons with disabilities including results of 100 top local websites accessibility assessment.

The panelists were Secretary to Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Mr. Harsha Wijewardane from University of Colombo, Director of Internet Society Asia Pacific Region Mr. Naveed, President Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, Secretary of Internet Society Mr. Maheeswara Kirindigoda, Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training and Disability Resource Centre, Major Manjula De Silva from the Sri Lanka Army and Mr. Isuru Sampath.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Participants at the evening session.

2 Group photograph of the morning session.

3 Internet for all banner.

4 Manique with the pannalists at the head table.

5 Manique making a presentation in the morning session.

6 Manique Sagarika and Naveed preparing the programme on the previous day.

7 Manique speaking at the evening session.

8 Manique with the participants.

9 Participants in the morning session.

10 Naveed presenting.

11 Sagarika presenting.

12 Wasantha Deshapriya speaking.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Council Member – Cisco Networking Academy Council

TALENTS OF SANDARUWAN

TALENTS OF SANDARUWAN

 

Sandaruwan Piyawansa is an ICT trainee of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. Apart from his ICT skills he has a born talent to do portraits. Everyone visiting the ICT Training Centre gives good recommendations about his talents by seeing the picture drawn by him of Manique Gunaratne which has been kept at the centre.  Sandaruwan is a wheel chair user due to a spinal cord injury. If anyone wishes to draw a picture of you please contact Sandaruwan Piyawansa on 0778528189.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Portrait of Manique by Sandaruwan.

Exif_JPEG_420
Exif_JPEG_420

 

Manique Gunaratne

E-mail – manique.g@gmail.com    efc.ict.vip@gmail.com

SILOAN CENTRE FOR THE BLIND IN KOREA DONATES ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

SILOAN CENTRE FOR THE BLIND IN KOREA DONATES ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 

Siloan Centre for the Blind in Korea donated assistive devices for persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka. The function was organized by the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in January 2017. Korean representatives from Siloan Centre for the Blind, Korean Embasidor, representatives from Ministry of Social Services, persons with disabilities and the benificiaries were present at the ocation. 50 wheel chairs, 50 tricycles, 200 elbow crutches, 100 Luxzoom software for low vision persons, computers for graphic designing and assistance for horticulture were among the donations made. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability received few Luxzoom software for the ICT Training Centre.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Audience.crowd 1

2 Audience.crowd 1

 

Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918

 

BEYOND THE REACH IN WESTERN PROVINCE

The Sri Lanka Chapter of the Internet Society together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability implemented “Beyond the Reach” project to train vision impaired persons on “Surfing the internet”.
This project is designed to make life easy for visually impaired people in Sri Lanka. This concept was borne while serving the soldiers with disabilities in Sri Lanka Army. As per the statistics available, over twenty million population nearly 200,000+ believed to be blind due to various reasons.(source news.lk) As per the internet for all concept in ISOC. The Internet Society is planning to make their life easy by giving them the access to information .(Websites, Kiosaks). Training sessions will be plan to make them aware of techniques in how to use internet for their development. There are two main target groups such as general public and soldiers. Considering the travelling difficulties of selected group ISOC will create a mobile lab and will deliver the training by sending trainers to the different geographical locations. Most of the websites in Sri Lanka does not include the techniques and support for accessibility of vision impaired people. Therefore, the web developers will be trained by giving them the training to improve accessibility of visually impaired people. On the other hand by installing kiosaks with supporting tools for visually impaired in government institutions such as public libraries and vidiatha centers will enable to access them government information websites easily. For example if some one want to get birth certificate by accessing government web site where it does not contain support for visually impaired , kiosak created by this projects will cater for their needs without depending on others and stand on their feet.
We want them to see the world through the eyes of internet and stand on their feet.
The Beyond the Reach inauguration was held at the EFC auditorium in January 2017. Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara – President Internet Society, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe – Director General, Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, and Ms. Manique Gunaratne – Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, and Mr. Minuwan Deshapriya – Assistant Secretary of Internet Society spoke at the inauguration. The Training was conducted by Ms. Manique Gunaratne At the newly up-graded EFC ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. A group of vision impaired persons together with few soldiers with physical disabilities from Anuradhapura Senapura Camp were trained at this residential training programme. The main objective of this training was to reach marginalized groups which the society thinks not reachable and make them empowered to gather information to develop their skills and knowledge. Certificates were awarded at the end of the 5 day training. Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe, Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Mr. Maheeswara Kirindigoda – Secretary, Internet Society, Ms. Deepashika Gunasekara from Plan Sri Lanka, Mr. Krishantha Pathirana from Maharaja TV and beneficiaries from the Sri Lanka Army and from the civil society spoke at the closing ceremony. The first “Beyond the Reach” programme was done in Uva Province.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Group photograph at the inauguration inaguration group photo

2 Head table at the inauguration.
inaguration head table

3 Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe making a speech.
inaguration kanishka speach

4 Lighting of the oil lamp.
inaguration lighting oil lamp

5 Participants.inaguration participants

6 Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara making a speech.inaguration sagarika speach
7 Training on day 1.day 1 training
8 Training on day 2.day 2 training
9 Training on day 3.day 3 training
10 Training on day 4.day 4 training
11 Training on day 5.day 5 training
12 Audience at the closing ceremony.closing audience
13 ms. Deepashika Gunasekara making a speech at the closing ceremony.closing deepashika speach
14 Group photograph at the closing ceremony.closing group photo
15 Head table at the closing ceremony.closing head table
16 Ms. Isuri Ayeshmi speaking as a participant at the closing ceremony.
17 Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe making speech at the closing ceremony.closing isuri speach
18 Mr. Krishantha Pathirana speaking at the closing cerramony.closing kanishka
19 Mr. Mahees Kirindigoda speaking at the closing ceremony.closing mahees speach
20 Ms. Manique Gunaratne speaking at the closing ceremony.closing manique speach
21 Participants receiving certificates.closing participants receiving certificates
22 Participants.closing participants
23 Mr. Chaminda Ratnayake from the Sri Lanka Army speaking at the closing ceremony.closing ratnayake speach
24 Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara speaking at the closing ceremony.closing sagarika speach

Manique Gunaratne
Fax – 0094112867946

EFC RELEASES BRAILLE AND LARGE PRINT POCKET CALENDARS FOR 2017

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 2017 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 the visually-impaired 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. EFC ICT Training Centre provides many services for persons with disabilities. Developing technologies and ICT skills are the key roles of the ICT Training Centre. Todate it has trained about 180 persons with disabilities on ICT skills. There are several courses conducted at this training centre. Each year the training centre is upgraded with equipment and with modern courses to suit the contemporary job market. The trainees are awarded well recognized certificates and the courses conducted are recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission where the certificates carry the TVEC registration number.

The ICT courses are not limited to Colombo. The training centre extended its services to the North in 2011. Library facilities with accessible formats are available at this Centre which caters to all persons in the disability field. Special assistive devices for persons with disabilities make this Centre more popular among persons with disabilities. These assistive devices are unique and they are available only at EFC.

The ICT training is now a Cisco academy. It also conducts international courses in collaboration with Cisco, Curtin University of Technology Australia and Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT).

The Braille printing unit of the  ICT Training Centre is doing huge task in printing Braille documents. If anyone wishes to print Braille documents please contact Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

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

braille calendar handing over to kanishka january 2017

 

Manique Gunaratne

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

 

TERTIARY AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION COMMISSION (TVEC) SUPPORTS TO UPGRADE EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE

The Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) supported The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to upgrade the ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. The new ICT Training Centre and the Disability Resource Centre is equipped with modern technology specially designed for persons with disabilities with accessibility. The TEVC assisted EFC ICT Training Centre with modern devices to train persons with diverse disabilities. The signing of the agreement was held at the TVEC Office at “Nipunatha Piyasa” in December 2016. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability received the grant from the Deputy Director General of TVEC, Mr. P.C.P Jayathilake.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique receiving the grant for EFC from the Deputy Director General, Mr. P.C.P. Jayathilake of TVEC.

handing over

 

Manique Gunaratne

Resource Person to Train, Promote & Develop Information & Communication Technology for Persons with Disabilities

 

A GROUP OF VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES A COURSE OF STUDY IN MICROSOFT WORD

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre trains persons with diverse disabilities on ICT skills in all corners of Sri Lanka. Under the guidance of Manique Gunaratne up to date 91 persons with diverse disabilities have successfully completed the course of study in Microsoft Word.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

group-photo

Group photograph of Manique Gunaratne, Supun Charuka, Aravinda Chandrasiri, Kasun Lakpriya (Edirisinghe Trust Investment), Sandun Jayaratne (Massage therapist), Aruna Premachandra, Anusha Dissanayake (Student, University of Peradeniya) and Pradeep Perera (Massage Therapist).

 

Manique Gunaratne

Officer in Charge of ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon

 

CISCO NETWORKING ACADEMY CONFERENCE AND AWARDS NIGHT SRI LANKA 2016

Cisco Networking Academy Conference and awards night Sri Lanka 2016 was held at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) Metro Campus in November 2016. The conference focused on Cisco Networking Academy Program updates and much more. New Cisco Networking Academy offering and how to adopt, Meeting industry expertise in Sri Lanka, Technical Breakout Sessions lead by regional Cisco team and  Curriculum hot topics were the key areas of the conference.  The Awards evening with dinner was held at Colombo Hilton. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Cisco Academy represented the conference.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

1 Cisco trainers.

sliit-at-couch

2 At the conference.

sliit-seated-at-table

3 Award night at Hilton Colombo.

hilton-table

4 Awards night at Hilton with Kalhari

hilton-with-kalhari

 

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United

 

BEYOND THE REACH

The Sri Lanka Chapter of the Internet Society implemented “Beyond the Reach” project to train vision impaired persons on “Surfing the internet”. The Training was conducted by Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. A group of vision impaired persons together with few sighted persons from Uva Province were trained at this residential training programme held at the Uva Management Development Centre in Badulla. The programme was inaugurated by the Governor of the Uva Province, Mr. N.P. Jayasinghe. Representatives for the Governor’s Office, University of Uva, Department of Social Services, Internet Society and media were present at the inauguration. President, Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, Secretary, Mr. Maheeswara Kirindigoda, Assistant Secretary, Mr. Minuwan Deshapriya and Exco Member, Imesha Deshapriya from the Internet Society did a splendid task to make “Beyond the Reach” a real success.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Day 1 ISOC meeting.

day-1-isoc-meeting

2 Day 1 introduction of the participants.

day-1-manique-and-mahees-introducing

3 Day 1 training session.

day-1-teaching-with-students

4 Day 2 meeting with members from SLIIT and from India.

day-2-meeting-with-indian

5 Day 2 training.

day-2-teaching

6 Day 3 participants with the Trainer.

day-3-group-and-manique

7 Day 3 group photograph with the Governer.

day-3-group-photo

8 Day 3 inaguration head table.

day-3-inauguration-head-table

9 Day 3 speech by Manique.

day-3-inauguration-manique-speach

10 Day 3 tea with the invitees.

day-3-inauguration-tea

11 Day 3 lighting of the oil lamp.

day-3-lighting-oil-lamp

12 Day 3 national anthem.

day-3-national-anthem

13 Day 3 training.

day-3-teaching

14 Day 4 training.

day-4-training

15 Day 5 special appreciation to Manique by ISOC.

day-5-appreciation-by-isoc

16 Day 5 group photograph with the certificates.

day-5-certificates-group

17 Day 5 closing remarks by Manique.

day-5-closing-speach

18 Day 5 handing over the certificates by Manique.

day-5-handing-over-certificates

19 Day 5 participants with Manique.

day-5-participants-manique-certificates

20 Day 5 training.

day-5-training

 

Manique Gunaratne

Viber: 0094779571918