The World Disability & Rehabilitation Professionals Association organised the World Disability & Rehabilitation Conference in November 2022. Manique Gunaratne conducted the sessions on “Vocational Training & Employment for Persons with Disabilities”.
MANIQUE GUNARATNE Manager – Specialised Training and Disability Resource Centre of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre together with the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter and the Accessibility Standing Group of the Global Internet Society organised a webinar on “Exclusion to Inclusion” in December 2022, by respecting the culture, language and diversity of disability in being equally treated in the digital space.
The importance of this webinar was effective participation by persons with disability in relevant decision-making processes based on the recognition of the disability movement’s mission: Nothing about us without us.
We, disability leaders in Sri Lanka agree that we advocate for:
The ratification and implementation of international instruments such as the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Marrakech Treaty and the Sustainable Development Goals (as related to persons with disability) in our country.
The commitment by Governments to make ICT and the digital environment in our country accessible for persons with disability by formulating and implementing legislation and regulation in accordance with the international instruments. This includes making e-government services accessible adhering to the current version of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. This commitment should be enforced by the governments with designated trained staff as well as reasonable financial resources. Furthermore, research and development in accessible technology be supported for low cost availability of digital products to persons with disability.
Making educational facilities and curriculum at all levels accessible through an equal delivery mechanism. Developing and delivering university courses on digital accessibility.
Providing an enabling environment facilitated by accessible digital resources in the public and private sector for creating employment opportunities for people with disability.
Businesses and the private sector making their online services accessible and adhering to the current version of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
International donor agencies and IGOs providing accessible technologies, both hardware and software, to people with disability in their developing country programs. This includes training in the effective and safe use of the Internet.
Internet organisations welcoming people with disability in their deliberations and making their programs and communications accessible. Concurrently, people with disability will build knowledge to proactively and productively participate.
The accessibility of communication, advertisement and public messaging through the provision of alternate formats.
The most significant aspect of this webinar was that all resource persons were persons with disabilities making the nothing about us without us concept a reality. Ms. Manique Gunaratne (vision impaired), Ms. Gunela Astbrink, Mr. Chamod Ruwanga (vision impaired), Mr. Udara Gnanaratne (partially sighted), Ms. Chani Jayathilake (physical disability), Mr. Thusitha Rangana (hearing impaired) and Ms. Nandani Wijeratnam spoke on digital rights of persons with diverse disabilities.
MANIQUE GUNARATNE Advisory Board Member – 18+ Alliance for Care Leavers (SOS Children’s Village)
Sri Lanka Technological Campus hosted its first-ever virtual international conference on Library and Information Science (VICLIS2021) in collaboration with the department of library and information science, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, National Science Library, and Resource Centre of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, and the Department of Library and Information Science University of Kerala, India. The conference was held in August 2021, under the theme of ‘Challenges of Library and Information Science Profession in New Normal Context.
The VICLIS2021 aimed to bring together the Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals, researchers, and LIS students to exchange and share their experiences and research findings on all aspects of Library Science. This free conference also provided a premier interdisciplinary platform for 104 research presenters from over 10 countries to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Library Science.
The chief guest
of the event was Mrs.Christine Mackenzie, the President of the International
Federation of Library Association and Institution, IFLA. Keynote speeches were
delivered by Prof.Anne Goulding, Professor of Library and Information
Management, School of Information Management, Victoria University, New Zealand
and Dr.Raymond Pun, President of the Asia Pacific American Librarians
The Founder President and the
CEO of the SLTC stated in his welcome address that the VICLIS2021 is a landmark
event hosted by SLTC as this is the very first conference on Library and
Information Science organized by a Non-State Higher Educational Institutions in
There were nine
(9) technical sessions conducted under nine (9) timely sub-themes at the
conference. Over 350 participants from 17 countries have participated in the
Ms. Manique Gunaratne conducted the session on “Library access for persons with disabilities”.
MANIQUE GUNARATNE Administrative Vice President – Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter