W.U.S.C. IMPLEMENTS THE ASSET PROJECT WHICH INCLUDES WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES By Manique Gunaratne

The Canadian High Commission and W.U.S.C. (World University Services in Canada is implementing the ASSET (Advancing Special Skills for Economic Transformation) Project. The team will focus more on women, youth and will also include persons with disabilities. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon will support to develop the skills of persons with disabilities. In March 2015 the Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Shelley Whiting held a reception to introduce this project at the Canada House. There were representatives from the High Commission of Canada, representatives from W.U.S.C., public and private sector companies and vocational training institutes. Ms. Manique Gunaratne was also invited for the reception.

 

 

SOUTH ASIAN WORKSHOP ON “ADVANCING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES THROUGH NETWORKING AND CAPACITY BUILDING FOR ADVOCACY” By Manique gunaratne

The South Asian Workshop on “Advancing the Rights of Women with Disabilities Through Networking and Capacity Building for Advocacy”, was organized by the National Federation of the Disabled in Nepal and Abilis Foundation, in Katmandu, Nepal in July 2014.

The South Asian Women with Disabilities Network (SAWDN) is a collaborative loose (unregistered) forum among Women with Disabilities in South Asian Region for the promotion of rights and opportunity of persons with disabilities in the region especially women with disabilities. It is a regional level Network established by Women with Disabilities who have been contributing in disability sector Nationally, Regionally and Internationally.

The existence of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2006 has changed the landscape of the disability worldwide; however the issues and concern of women with disabilities in developing countries including South Asia do not seem to be adequately addressed. Thus, this network is designed / established as a common forum to advocate and lobby for the promotion of rights of women with disabilities as envisioned in the CRPD. Thus the Network will contribute for the effective implementation of the CRPD to promote and strengthen rights and opportunity for women with disabilities in these regional-countries.

Several efforts are made to implement the CRPD and to promote and strengthen rights of women with disabilities worldwide including in South Asian countries. However, the rights and issues of women with disabilities in South Asian region do not seem to be adequately addressed. Some policies, laws, Acts at national level are amended and enacted but the concerns of women with disabilities are left behind in these respective countries.

South Asian Countries are organized under a regional organization i.e. South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), however there is not such common agendas and forum for joint advocacy and lobby for the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities so far in this region. It has been strongly realized that Regional body should contribute in promoting rights of persons with disabilities in line with the CRPD. Further, a functional network of the right-holders including women with disabilities is expected to be established to promote disability rights and CRPD in the region. Thus, this network targets for regional collaboration and cooperation of the South Asian countries to empower and development of the women with disabilities and to eliminate all kinds of violence and discrimination against women with disabilities through consolidated effort. The network is expected to contribute to break the barrier faced by women with disabilities in South Asian Region. Further, it works for the promotion and protection of rights of women with disabilities as envisioned in the CRPD. It will work as a change agent to bring quality of life of women with disabilities in South Asian Region in the long term. Thus, in order to establish and run the network formally, organized this workshop in Nepal as per following broader outline.

The overall objective of the workshop was to promote rights of women with disabilities in South Asian Region in line with the CRPD. The specific objectives of the workshop included the following:

  • To establish the network formally, through a declaration by leaders of women with disabilities of South Asian Region.
  • To develop and adopt objectives and working methodology of the Network in promoting and advancing the rights of Women with Disabilities in South Asia region.
  • To develop a capacity building mechanism and advocacy strategies of the Network to promote CRPD and rights of women with disabilities in the region.
  • To develop framework / action plan for mainstreaming disability into development in South Asian region
  • A functional regional network was established to promote the rights of persons with disabilities especially women with disabilities as envisioned by the CRPD.
  • A concrete document incorporating objectives and area of work of the organization was developed and adopted.
  • A way forward for capacity building of women with disabilities and advocacy strategy of the Network was adopted.
  • A joint action plan to mainstream disability into human rights and development agendas in South Asian Region was developed and adopted.

Ms. Manique gunaratne  was a resource person and conducted one session on “Include women with disabilities in the development agenda with regard to United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Incheon Strategy”.

 

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THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON STARTS A COURSE ON MICROSOFT WORD WITH A NEW BATCH OF VISION IMPAIRED STUDENTS By Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon started training with a new group of vision impaired persons on Microsoft Word at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, I.C.T. Training Centre, in February 2015. Up to date Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon have trained 157 vision impaired persons on different courses on information technology. Following are the new batch of trainees.

1 Ms. Nadishani Jayathilake (Job seeker)

2 Mr. Thirukumaran Ramasamy (Job seeker)

3 Mr. Priyantha Kosala (Massarge Therapist at Thushare Talking Hands)

4 Mr. Gayashan Sumihira (Massarge Therapist at Thushare Talking Hands)

5 Mr. Vijakamara Thavaraja (Massarge Therapist at Thushare Talking Hands)

6 Mr. Dhananjaya Lakmal (University Student)

7 Mr. Tharindu Rajamanthri (Job seeker)

8 ms. Isuru Ayeshmi (Graduate from University of Sri Jayawardanapura)

 

tuesday afternoon word class 3

IBRAILLER SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS ACKNOWLEDGE THE SUPPORT FROM THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON

The IBrailler software assist vision impaired persons to type in Braille in an Ipad which will convert into sighted letters. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon I.C.T. Training Centre headed by Ms. Manique Gunaratne together with the vision impaired trainees supported the developers by checking the accessibility by providing them with new ideas. In March 2015 Sunday Times news paper published an article about the IBrailler software. It acknowledges the support given by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon. Please read the article for more details about the IBrailler on:

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/150308/business-times/sri-lankan-helps-create-world-acknowledged-it-app-for-the-blind-138671.html

 

LEADERSHIP AND UNCRPD FOR VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS By Manique Gunaratne

Most vision impaired persons lack in their leadership skills. Due to attitude barriers and family barriers most vision impaired persons confine to the four walls of the house. It is very important to improve the leadership qualities of vision impaired persons in the very grassroots level. In order to address the above issue the Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped and Myright Sweden organized a workshop for vision impaired persons in Gampaha, Kurunegala and Kandy districts in August 2014. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon I.C.T. trainees were also included in this training in order to develop their leadership qualities so that it will improve their employability skills. It is also essential to educate them in their rights. Ms. Manique Gunaratne did the training on the United Nations Convention on rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

.presentation on uncrpd

 

 

INTERNATIONAL WHITE CANE DAY ON 15 OCTOBER By Manique Gunaratne

Vision impaired persons use the white cane as an eye. The sense of touch is felt by the tip of the white cane and thereby through sense they find their way. During the Second World War large number of soldiers became vision impaired. During that period Mr. Richard E. Hoover from America invented the white cane to rehabilitate the soldiers. Since then the white cane is used around the world as an assistive device for vision impaired persons.

 

In 1969 The International Federation of the Blind which is now known as the World Blind Union had its annual general meeting at Galle Face Hotel in Sri Lanka. At that meeting it was decided to declare 15 October as the International White cane Day. Since then each year on 15 October the International White Cane Day is celebrated around the world.

 

The white cane is divided into three parts.

1 The grip

The grip is the top part of the white cane and it is made out of rubber so that it is shock proof.

 

2 the Shaft

The shaft is the middle part of the white cane which is made out of one inch aluminum pipe.

 

3 The Tip

Bottom part of the white cane is called the tip which is made out of nylon rod.

 

The colour of the white cane is white because it can be seen at a longer distance for sighted persons. 6 inches from the bottom of the white cane is coloured in red to indicate that it is a blind person. 18 inches from the bottom is coloured in red in order to indicate that it is used by a deaf blind person. The weight of a white cane is 230 to 280g.

 

A white cane helps a vision impaired person to go to the destination he wants independently, safely and with the minimum period of time.

 

When a vision impaired person takes a white cane into his hand, he or she should decide where am I? Where should I go and how I am going.

 

Gate pattern is very important to walk with the white cane, which consist of body balance and the walk pattern. When you keep the left leg forward the tip of the white cane should touch the right edge of the body width.

 

There are technics for ascending, descending, walk through narrow ways, gliding, find gateways, walk through payments, crossing the road etc.

 

It is very important a vision impaired person to be independent with a white cane. Otherwise he or she will become double handicapped.

 

All vision impaired persons must be loud, proud and passionate when using the white cane.

 

Every year in October the former President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa at his official residence, “Temple Trees” distributes the first set of white canes to mark the International White Cane Day. In October 2014 representatives from the Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped and the Sri Lanka Council of Visually Handicapped Graduates were there to receive the white canes. Ms. Manique Gunaratne was also among the group of 6 vision impaired persons to receive the first set of white canes from His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa to mark the occasion.

 

Ms. Manique Gunaratne delivered two speeches on the “significance of the white cane” at the International White Cane Day celebration organized by the Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped at the Public Library and at the Crist Church, organized by the National Forum of Visually Handicapped Women.

group photo with president 2014 manique with president2014 White cane day at public library 2014

THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON LEED PROJECT TEAM MAKES PRESENTATION AT AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP By Manique Gunaratne

The Lenard Cheshire Disability Resource Centre organized an international workshop for participants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Philippine and Sri Lanka on “Disability” at Golden Star Hotel in Negombo In October 2014. The EFC LEED Project team members, Tanya Warnakulasuriya, Manique Gunaratne and Vasana Wijesinghe attended this workshop and a made a presentation on “Employment for persons with disabilities”. The team explained the activities of the Network on Disability and the best practices with case studies.

 

EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES JOINS CISCO By Manique Gunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, I.C.T. Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities was registered as a CISCO Academy in November 2014. It is another mile stone in the history of this I.C.T. Training Centre. The I.C.T. Training Centre conducts CISCO courses on Information Technology Essentials (I T E) a CCNA. The CISCO Sri Lanka had its CISCO Awards at Global Towers in November 2014. The E.F.C. I.C.T. Training Centre was recognized at the awards. Ms. Manique Gunaratne completed all CISCO examinations on Information Technology Essentials conducted by CISCO, Curtin University of Technology in Australia and S.L.I.I.T. (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology). Now Ms. Manique Gunaratne joins the international team of Trainers to conduct CISCO courses. All academies and trainers were recognized at this awards ceremony.

 

cisco international trainers