Category Archives: Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Children with disabilities perform at the beyond the ability concert

Children with disabilities perform at the beyond the ability concert

 

Global Community Development Program (Incoming), AIESEC Colombo Central (AIESEC in University of Colombo), AIESEC in Sri Lanka organized “Beyond the Ability” concert at New Arts Theatre in University of Colombo. The university students organized this programme as a full day programme for children with disabilities at University of Colombo in March 2016. Children with disabilities enjoyed the morning with the university students playing and other activities where these children thoroughly enjoyed. Evening was their performances. Ms. Miranda Hemalatha trained all the children who performed at the “Beyond the Ability” concert. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was the chief guest at this event. The programme was sponsored by Glitz. The people in the audience were really amazed by the performances of these children with intellectual disabilities.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Lighting of the oil lamp.

lighting the oil lamp

2 Chief guest’s speech by Manique

speach

3 Children with disabilities performing.

IMG_8282

4 Talented young children performing.

IMG_8281

5 Dances by the children.

IMG_8285

6 Group performances.

IMG_8283

 

ManiqueGunaratne

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

Human rights commission of sri lanka convened a meeting on civil society to discuss the implementation of united nations convention of rights of persons with disabilities

Human rights commission of sri lanka convened a meeting on civil society to discuss the implementation of united nations convention of rights of persons with disabilities

 

Since the government of Sri Lanka has ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 8 February 2016, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in line with the powers rested in the commission as per sections 10C and 10D of the of the Human Rights Commission Act no. 21 of 1966, convened a meeting to discuss the establishment of a mechanism for the implementation of the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities through the enactment of enabling national legislations and policies adhering to international standards at the Human Rights Commission in February 2016. In this regard the Human Rights Commission shared a background paper on the issue which set out the current context including the status of advocacy efforts with those from the disable community, persons and organizations working for persons with disabilities or disability issues and academics and professionals who have been working on disability rights. This consultative forum was to discuss advocacy efforts and moving forward with stakeholders including persons with disabilities, organisations / individuals who works on disability rights or persons with disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability participated at this forum.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

Dialogue on Electoral Reforms for persons with disabilities

Dialogue on Electoral Reforms for persons with disabilities

 

The Government is in the process of developing a new constitution. The Prime Minister with the approval of the cabinet has appointed a 20 member Public Representation Committee on Constitutional Reforms for the purpose of obtaining proposals from the public for the proposed constitutional reforms.

Paffrel has launched a series of dialogues with representatives of various sectors in creating a platform for them to discuss, identify their issues and prepare proposals with regard to the electoral process. A dialogue was held in February 2016 at the auditorium of Helpage with the participation of persons with disability drawn from different groups. At the end of the event a draft set of proposals was developed. This document will be finalized and a committee appointed by the participants will hand it over to the PRC in March 2016.

Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability is also involved in this process.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Participants

ER-EU PWDs 41

2 Participants.

ER-EU PWDs 18

ManiqueGunaratne

Co-ordinator – ASSET (Advancing Special Skills for Economic Transformation) Project

Community based inclusive development

Community based inclusive development

 

The “South Asian Disability Forum Strategic Planning Workshop” and executive committee meeting of the South Asian Disability Forum was held in November 2013 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Ms. Maniquegunaratne is the Vice President of the South Asian Disability Forum. It was held at Hotel Margala, Islamabad, organized by the Ministry of Law & Justice and Human Rights of Pakistan, the UNESCO Islamabad, the South Asian Disability Forum (SADF) and the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), the CHEF International and the British Council Pakistan.

The objective of the “SADF Strategic Planning Workshop” was to formulate a three (3)-year action plan for SADF encompassing activities to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in South Asia.

The other programme was the “Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities on Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID)” at Margala Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan. Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socio-economic

Outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, worse health conditions, less employment opportunities, and higher poverty rates. Poverty may increase the risk of disability through malnutrition, inadequate access to education and health care, unsafe working conditions, polluted environment, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation. Disability may increase the risk of poverty, through lack of employment, lower wages, and increased cost of living with a disability. Keeping in view above situation, “Leadership

Conference of Persons with Disabilities on Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID)” was organized by the Ministry of Law & Justice and Human Rights of Pakistan, the UNESCO Islamabad, the WHO Pakistan, the CBID Network Pakistan and the South Asian Disability Forum (SADF) in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), CBM, the CHEF International and the British Council Pakistan.

The aim of the Conference was to promote the leadership of people with disabilities in the context of Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID) in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, Asia Pacific and Eastern Mediterranean region.

The following areas were covered at the conference.

Legislative framework on disability.

Community based inclusive development practices in other countries.

Community based inclusive disaster risk reduction.

Community based inclusive education initiatives.

Ms. Maniquegunaratne represented Sri Lanka at this conference.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph of the participants.group photo

2 Panel discussion.panel discussion

 

ManiqueGunaratne

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

Including the voice of people with disabilities in public consultations on constitutional and electoral reforms

Including the voice of people with disabilities in public consultations on constitutional and electoral reforms

Enabled Elections Coalition, together with the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), organised an advocacy
Meeting that will bring together organizations, interest groups and individuals engaged in disability
Rights and inclusion at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in February 2016. The aim of this advocacy meeting was to mobilize disability rights stakeholders to ensure that the new constitution and related electoral reforms uphold the rights of Persons with Disabilities, recognize Persons with Disabilities as equal citizens, and promote the political engagement of Persons with Disabilities as voters and elected leaders.
CMEV was a Co-Convener and facilitator of the 2015 island-wide campaign ‘Enabled Elections’, which
Was spearheaded in tandem with the General Elections. This short but focused campaign was able to
Mobilize Persons with Disabilities to exercise their vote and seek accessibility provisions where
Needed. The campaign’s primary goal was to increase voter turnout of Persons with Disabilities by
Creating awareness about the circular number PE 164/2015 issued by the Commissioner of Elections
In May 2015. This Circular advised all the Assistant Commissioners to ensure that ‘reasonable access’
Is provided for voters living with a disability. The ‘Enabled Elections’ campaign was a 􀏐first in sensitizing
All citizens of Sri Lanka about the political rights and access to polling stations for People With
Disabilities.
Similarly, IFES has worked on programs across South Asia and worldwide to empower Persons With
Disabilities and civil society organizations to advocate for their electoral and political rights in keeping
With the international standards laid out in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With
Disabilities.
CMEV, IFES and other groups believe that the constitutional and electoral reform process provides a
Critical opportunity for individuals and groups to collectively advocate for disability inclusive policies.
The purpose of the advocacy meeting was to discuss strategies on including
The voices of Persons with Disabilities in the new constitution drafting process in the country.
Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability participated for this discussion to promote rights of persons with disabilities for the drafting of the new constitution.

Picture descriptions:

1 Group of participants.group of participants
2 Pannalists at the discussion.panel discussion
3 Participants at the programme.participants

Manique Gunaratne
Vice Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum

Sri lanka ratify the united nations convention on rights of persons with disabilities (uncrpd)

Sri lanka ratify the united nations convention on rights of persons with disabilities (uncrpd)

 

It was a really happy moment for all persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka when the good news of ratification of the United Nations Convention on rights of Persons with Disabilities was heard.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an instrument that assists Governments of member states to bring about the change required in society and within the country to accept persons with disabilities as citizens with equal rights.

Sri Lanka signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities in March 2007. After a period of 8 years Cabinet approval was sought for and obtained last year.

The purpose of this comprehensive and integral international convention is to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.  Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD[i]. The then Minister of Social Services was at the UN Headquarters in New York on 30th March 2007, the day it was open for signature.  With its signature Sri Lanka agreed “to refrain in good faith from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty”.

The delay has kept Sri Lankans with disabilities waiting too long on the fringes of Society. Ratification and implementation of the CRPD will pave the way for the upliftment of their quality of life; it will move them away from vulnerability and marginalization to the mainstream of development and to a better life with a brighter future.

After 9 long years of great work of advocacy and lobbying by persons with disabilities, disable people’s organisations, civil society and all parties concerned, on 8th February 2016 Sri Lanka ratified the UNCRPD.

 

ManiqueGunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Asian blind Union

[i]     UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150

The british council TOGETHER WITH THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON includes persons with disabilities

The british council TOGETHER WITH THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON includes persons with disabilities

The British Council is a British organisation specializing in international educational and cultural opportunities. It is registered as a charity in England, Wales and Scotland. It is committed to offer learning facilities not only for the ordinary, but also for people with disabilities. Hence, EFC ICT Training Centre for persons with disabilities conducted an audit with regard to accessibility.
The technical aim of this audit was to provide a feedback to British Council on arranging a barrier-free safe environment for those with disabilities to access resources of British Council. This audit was conducted considering the fact that there are regular visitors to British Council premises which includes members of its library, students, visitors and employees.
The requirement for the Accessibility audit was resulted from the learning of the two workshops which were conducted for the British Council by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) in November 2015 with regard to disability etiquette, the right way to handle persons with disabilities and accessibility measures for the workplace.
The Access audit was conducted by Ms. Manique Gunaratne (vision impaired) from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and by Mr. Cyril Siriwardane (Wheel chair user).

Manique Gunaratne
Executive Committee Member – Daisy Lanka Foundation

Developing advocacy policies for persons with disabilities

Developing advocacy policies for persons with disabilities

 

Many people with disabilities do not identify themselves as disabled or choose not to be part of a politically active community of disabled persons. Advocacy is both the barriers to the formation of a social movement of disabled people and the ways in which these barriers have been overcome. The role of public policy in the evolution of this movement is discussed, as are the current status and prospects of the disability rights movement. It is very important for persons with disabilities to fight for their own rights. Long time ago it was the charity based model which was adopted in the society. Then it was the medical based model. There after it turned out to social based model. The modern trend is the rights based model. Developing advocacy policies is very important for the way forward. Leading disability activist from South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East were selected to develop the advocacy policy. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability represented this workshop. The participant team was highly knowledgeable. Therefore the outcome was good. The workshop was held at Radisson Blue Martinez Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon. It was not just a workshop. The policy developed in December 2015 will be used for future reference.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Day 1 of the workshop.at workshop day 1

2 Day 2 of the workshop.at workshop day 2

3 Day 3 of the workshop.at workshop day 3

 

ManiqueGunaratne

Web: www.employers.lk   www.bizdirectory.lk

‘WORKING TOGETHER TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION FOCUSING ON PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES’

‘Working together to promote diversity and inclusion
focusing on people with disabilities’

 

It was an evening to bring together people with disabilities and people with not yet with a disability. It is nothing about us without us. Always it should be inclusion. Leonard Cheshire Disability and Western Seaton Cheshire Home, Negomboorganised a conference on ‘Working together to promote diversity and inclusion focusing on people with disabilities at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in November 2015. The welcome address was by Mr. Anthony Fernando,

Chairman, Leonard Cheshire Disability -Regional Council –Asia and

National Council- Sri Lanka.Ms. RevathyRugmini, Regional Representative, Leonard Cheshire Disability Asia and Pacific spoke on Setting the Context. Inaugural address was done by Major General GaminiHettiarachchi (retd), Chairman/CEO of Vocational Training Authority. Dr. SanthiyapillaiKeethaponkalan, Manager, Wester Seaton Cheshire Home spoke on the Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities – Initiatives of Wester Seaton Cheshire Homes. The presentation on Inclusion matters – focusing on empowerment of people of all abilities was done by Advocate of Design for Inclusion and Accessibility Advisor,Dr. Ajith C S Perera. Mr. Sydney Dabare,Principal, German Technical Training Institute, Borella spoke on Exploring skill development opportunities of persons with disabilities. Major SurenBandara, HR Manager Global Intimates shared his experience on Work place inclusion and challenges faced by him. Inclusion from a development and Human rights perspective was done by Ms. Nadia Cannata, Programme Manager – Action Head of Operations, European Union. Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sri Lanka explained the Scope of workplace inclusion of persons with disabilities. Mr. Chaminda Kumar (Person with orthopedic disability) shared his experience as an employee with a disability. Donor perspective to promote inclusion was done by Mr. Damian Fernando– Secretary, Sri Lanka Association of Parents of Deaf Children. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability spoke on employment opportunities for vision impaired persons. Issues and challenges when Empowering persons with disabilities was done by Mrs. KumudhuSumedhaSanjeevani Senior Lecturer University of Kelaniya. Finally there was a discussion on reasonable accommodation.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 At the head table.

at the head table

2 Conference.

l c programme

3 Lighting of the oil lamp.

lighting the lamp

4 Manique making the presentation at the head table.

manique making presentation with head table

5 Manique making the presentation.

manique making presentation

6 Participants at the conference.

participants

7 Presenting the plaque to Manique.

presenting the plark

 

ManiqueGunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

ACCESS FOR ALL

Access for all

 

We are all persons with disabilities at some time in our lives. A child, a person with a broken leg, a parent with a pram, pregnant mother, an elderly person, etc. are all disabled in one way or another. Those who remain healthy and able-bodied all their lives are few. As far as the built-up environment is concerned, it is important that it should be barrier-free and adapted to fulfill the needs of all people equally. As a matter of fact, the needs of the persons with disabilities coincide with the needs of the majority, and all

People are at ease with them. As such, planning for the majority implies planning for people with varying abilities and disabilities.

The Disability Organisations Joint Front organized a workshop for its member organisations at Help Age Sri Lanka in November 2015. The technical aim of this programme was to provide a barrier-free Environment for the independence, convenience and safety of all people with disabilities and persons with not yet with a disability.

Mr. Cyril Siriwardane and Ms. Maniquegunaratne conducted this workshop. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability conducted the session on “Access to build environment for vision impaired persons”.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Manique explaining about accessibility.

manique explaining accessibility

2 Manique making a presentation.

manique making presentation

3 Participants at the workshop.

participants

ManiqueGunaratne

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