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 2018 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 190 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:

Presenting the first Braille calendar for 2018.


In January 2012, Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon went to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the Inclusive Business Roundtable Talk on Rating System

at APCD Training Building.

The concept of Inclusive Business has been brainstormed by business practitioners and leaders with disabilities. The roles of persons with disabilities in business were identified more clearly from the perspective of customers, employees and entrepreneurs. The inclusive business opportunity to expand market and utilize the potential human resources was highlighted. The key points of successful inclusive business were presented. Through the brainstorming meeting, participants agreed that the Rating System would be needed for Inclusive Business Development.

The Inclusive Business Roundtable Talk on Rating System was organized by the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and The Nippon Foundation (TNF) Exclusive participants discussed more deeply about Rating System of Inclusive Business. It is expected that the findings from regional perspective will support business to maximize emerging business opportunity.


Manique Gunaratne

Skype – manique.g




In February 2012 Ms. Manique Gunaratne represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Blind Union General Assembly which comes once in four years. The General Assembly was held in New Delhi, India. There were delegates from South Asian, Middle East and Central Asian countries. The General Assembly was held at Hotel City Park in New Delhi. On the first day there was a conference for visually impaired women in the Asian Blind Union region. Ms. Manique Gunaratne did a presentation on “Participation of blind women in the Asian region”. On the second day there was a workshop on “UNCRPD”. On the third day there was election for office bearers for the executive committee of the Asian Blind Union. Ms. Manique Gunaratne was selected as an Executive Committee member of the Asian Blind Union. It is a great achievement for the country.


Manique Gunaratne

Web: www.employers.lk


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre supported University of Kelaniya to train under-graduates with disabilities to be trained on ICT skills so that they can be equally capable as persons with not yet with a disability.

Read the article on:



Manique Gunaratne

E-mail – maniqueg@empfed.lk     manique.g@gmail.com


In March 2012 Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon did a  presentation on “Disability ethics when dealing with visually impaired persons” organized by the Disability Organizations’ Joint Front at the Sri Lanka Television & Training Institute. Press and electronic media were present at the occasion. Several TV and radio channels telecasted and broadcasted this event. There was an article published in the “Island” newspaper and there was an article with a photograph in the “Dinamina” newspaper.


Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918


The Disability Organisations’ Joint Front organized a walk and a rally to celebrate International Day for Persons with Disabilities in December 2017. Persons with diverse disabilities from all walks of Sri Lanka gathered at the Hyde Park. Persons with diverse disabilities walked to Viharamahadevi Park requesting to give their rights and had a gathering speaking of their rights.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Participants with the DOJF banner.

2 Manique with the banner.

3 Manique and Rasanjali

4 Manique and Sandamali.

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966



In December 2017, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka and their partners at Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) hosted a conference on the deinstitutionalization and alternative care of children in Sri Lanka at Grand Oriental Hotel. By bringing together local-level field officers and policymakers at every level of the government, as well as Civil Society Organizations, practitioners, academia, media, Child Care Institutions, care leavers and community members, they helped to change the discourse around alternative care in Sri Lanka. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialized Training & Disability Resource Centre serves as an Advisory Group member focusing on children with disabilities. Following matters were taken into consideration:

8 teams from ‘Locational Circles’ (i.e. groups of government field officers involved in child protection and community health and development) across the country including Anuradhapura, Batticoloa, Galle, Jaffna, Matara, Monaragala, Nuwara Eliya and Piliyandala outlined their action plans for deinstitutionalisation in their districts. These were designed specifically to consider specific problems and causes of institutionalisation and vulnerability among children and create attainable and effective ways to tackle these issues at a local level. The key attributes include:

  1. Forming groups among parents, children and community members to address issues of socialisation, sexual and physical abuse, exploitation, protective and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education, and substance abuse, especially alcohol.
  2. Gathering information from these groups, and finding the underlying reasons for family separation and vulnerability.
  3. Delivering supportive programmes, including income generation training and support, counselling and psychosocial services.
  4. Educating families in financial management to more effectively live within their income.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Advisory group members.

Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka.


University of Kelaniya conducted a training session for under-graduates with disabilities on employment. MAS Holdings and World University Services of Canada (WUSC) made presentations. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre conducted the session on “Role of EFC on employment for persons with disabilities”. The programme was held at the English Language Training Unit in December 2017.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Imalka De Silva presenting.

2 Manique Gunaratne presenting.

3 Participants.

4 Dr. Shyamani Hettiarachchi presenting.


Manique Gunaratne

Advisory Board – CENWOR Employment for Women with Disabilities Project


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities provides scholarships for under-graduates with disabilities for their University education with the support of the CIC Educational & Charitable Trust. This year two vision impaired under-graduates from University of Kelaniya and University of Peradeniya received scholarships at the EFC ICT Graduation held at the Sri Lanka Foundation in November 2017.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Mr. Chamod Ruwanga from University of Kelaniya receiving the scholarship.

2 Ms. Rasika Rathnayake from University of Peradeniya receiving the scholarship.


Manique Gunaratne

Vice Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum