“I CAN LIVE THE LIFE I WANT; BLINDNESS IS NOT WHAT HOLDS ME BACK.”

The World Blind Union (WBU) and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) held the joint General Assembly events in Orlando, Florida, United States in August 2016 at Rosen Centre Hotel.

The International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairement (ICEVI) invited Manique Gunaratne as a speaker to speak on “Preparing for employment, a Sri Lankan Prospective” being the first Sri Lankan vision impaired person to address a World Blind Union (WBU) and International Committee for the Education of People with Vision Impairment (ICEVI) General Assembly.

The World Blind Union is the internationally recognized organization representing the needs and views of blind and partially sighted persons worldwide. The WBU General Assembly, which is held every four years, brings together members representing organizations of and for the blind in approximately 180 countries worldwide. Delegates have the opportunity to share information, skills and expertise as well as to make important decisions regarding the World Blind Union and its work.

This year’s theme was to make it possible for blind people the world over to say with conviction, “I can live the life I want; blindness is not what holds me back.”  There were a combination of business sessions and themed program sessions. And during the WBU and ICEVI, there was both plenary and concurrent sessions dealing with the three important topics of: Human Rights, Technology & Innovation and Youth Engagement.

The goal of WBU/ICEVI 2016 was to improve the quality of life of those who are blind and low vision by providing a common platform on which advocates, innovators, consumers, and service providers can expand both intra-regional and international networks, share information, and learn about new techniques and service models. WBU/ICEVI 2016 brought together participants from around the world, making this an important venue for collaborating and networking around important blindness issues.

The technology exhibition showcased the latest in what is available for blind and partially sighted people.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Manique with a vision impaired Astonaut.

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2 Cultural night.

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3 Conference day 1 seated.

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4 Day 1 of the conference with vision impaired persons.

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5 Day 2 of the conference.

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6 Day 2 of the conference.

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7 Manique and Birendra from Nepal.

8 Manique with participants from Nepal.

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9 Manique with Debra Perry from USA at the technology exhibition.

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10 At the hotel entrance.

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11 Day 3 of the conference..

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12 Day 4 of the conference.

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13 Day 5 of the conference.

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14 At the technology exhibition with Sri Lankan friends.

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15 Gala dinner on the final day.

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16 Seated at the gala dinnerrosen-gala-dinner-seated

17 Manique and Shalika.

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18 Manique with few participants with the WBU logo.

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19 Manique near the WBU logo.

20 Manique making a speech seated.

21 Manique with the pannalists at the conference.

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22 Manique making a presentation standing.

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23 Manique and Pallavi from India.

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Manique Gunaratne

Founder Members Team – South Asian Women with Disabilities Network

 

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