EFC ict training centre releases braille and large print pocket calendars for 2016

EFC ict training centre releases braille and large print pocket calendars for 2016

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 2016 was handed over to the Director General, EFC, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe by Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Manager, ICT Training Centre recently at the EFC.
“It is very important for vision impaired persons to expand their Braille-reading skills,” notes Ms. Gunaratne. She adds that 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,” she observes. 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 170 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).
Picture caption:presenting the braille calendar 2016
Ms. Manique Gunaratne handing over the first Braille calendar to the Director General, EFC, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe.

Manique Gunaratne
Face Book – Manique Gunaratne

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

R chief of Aitken Spence appreciates the work done by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on disability

H R chief of Aitken Spence appreciates the work done by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on disability

 

HR Chief of Aitken Spence, Mr. RohanPandithakoralage appreciates the work done by EFC Network on Disability. Read the article:

 

Article:rohan p article

 

ManiqueGunaratne

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

 

 

‘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

UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND TOGETHER WITH EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE DEVELOPES A MOBILE APPLICATION ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH FOR VISION IMPAIRED AND HEARING IMPAIRED PERSONS

United nations population fund together with efc ict training centre developes a mobile application on reproductive health for vision impaired and hearing impaired persons

 

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead UN agency that expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy sexual and reproductive lives. They are on the ground improving lives in more than 140 countries, delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Since the establishment of UNFPA Sri Lanka in 1969, the agency has been working with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure rights of men, women and young people to sexual and reproductive health information and services to live healthy lives.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities assists developers, researchers and all manufacturing assistive devices for persons with disabilities with knowledge, experiences, technical and accessibility support.

Sexual and reproductive health remains a big challenge for today’s young people in Sri Lanka. Most of these young people lack accurate information about reproductive health and contraception putting them at risk from unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV and AIDS.

People with disabilities are marginalized from society due to their inability to access sensitive information regarding their sexual and reproductive wellbeing easily and discreetly. Of the total population aged five years and over (18.6 million) in Sri Lanka, 1,617,924 persons were those with at least one of the six disability domains defined by the Census (disabilities in seeing, disabilities in hearing/speaking, disabilities in hands, disabilities in legs, other physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities). This represented 8.7 per cent of the total of whom 43 per cent were males and 57 per cent were females (DCS, 2014). Sri Lanka’s highest proportion of disability is related to vision impairment. In this category there were slightly more females than males As Sri Lanka’s population ages, it is also experiencing an increase in disabilities, especially among the adult and older population.

There are virtually no special facilities in schools/other education centers for people with disabilities children/adults in many parts of Sri Lanka. As a part of comprehensive reproductive health education programs in Sri Lanka, UNFPA wants to enables young people with disabilities to make informed decision about their reproductive health. Sexual and reproductive health and rights information accessibility creation for persons with disabilities using specially designed mobile application that caters to adolescents and youth who are unable to see and who  are unable to hear. The main goal of this mobile application is to improve the accessibility of knowledge and awareness of marginalized, adolescents with disabilities and youth in sexual and reproductive health and rights in Sri Lanka and beyond. The app runs on any iOS and Android phone, and it is free. In addition, it is available in all three languages (English, Sinhala and Tamil) while the content will be edited to suit the Sri Lankan sensitivities. This mobile application contains voice a guild for blind or visually impaired people that will help them get through mobile app content.

ABLE – App, the mobile application was launched in December 2015 at Golden Pond – TajSamudra, Colombo. ‘ABLE’ therefore, tries to create a space where person with disability, especially young people, can obtain the information they need to lead healthier and fuller lives through their personal mobile phone or tablets. The app is made of two sections; the first is titled ‘LEARN’, wherein users can learn about a range of topics, from sexuality and family planning to gender based violence and sexually transmitted diseases. The second is ‘FIND SUPPORT,’ which consists of a comprehensive catalogue of clinics in every city and district of Sri Lanka. Persons with disabilities have the same sexual and reproductive health and rights needs as other people. Yet they often face barriers to information and services. There are virtually no special facilities in schools/other education centers or education materials for people with disabilities children/adults especially for vision impairment in many parts of Sri Lanka /Globally.

So, as a part of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) comprehensive reproductive health education programs in Sri Lanka, they want to enable young people with disabilities to make informed decision about their reproductive health. Sexual and reproductive health and rights information accessibility creation for persons with disabilities using specially designed mobile application that caters to adolescents and youth who are unable to see. UNFPA started this ‘ABLE,’ app concept to address the fact that the person with disability individuals are marginalized from society and often they do not receive proper information about their sexual and reproductive well-being, putting them at risk of unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

People with disabilities are a part of society. UNFPA wants to work towards a future where they are independent and living in a better environment with dignity and justice.”

To download the app and receive updates, search for ‘ABLE UNFPA’ at your mobile store, available on Android and iOS phones.

At the launch of this mobile application for vision impaired and hearing impaired persons the welcome note was delivered by JeyanAbeywickrama, National Programme Analyst of UNFPA. Dr. NadikaChandraratne from Family Health Bureau spoke on Importance of sexual reproductive health. The Usage and the accessibility of the mobile application for persons with disabilities was done by ManiqueGunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. Arun Jentrick is the Co-ordinator of the Comprehensive and Reproductive Health Education of UNFPA.

 

Picture descriptions:

1 Launch of the mobile application.

application launch

2 EFC Vision impaired and hearing impaired ICT trainees.

e f c trainees group standing

3 EFC trainees at the launch.

e f c trainees

4 Manique making a speech.

manique speach

5 Group of persons with disabilities.

persons with disabilities at taj

ManiqueGunaratne

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon,

385 J3 Old Kotte Road,

Rajagiriya,

Sri Lanka.

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)

 

CISCO CSR BLOG RECOGNISES THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON

Cisco csr blog recognises the employers’ federation of Ceylon

 

The Cisco training done for persons with disabilities at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities was recognized by the Cisco CSR blog. Please read the article on:

http://blogs.cisco.com/csr/cisco-networking-academy-empowers-the-disabled-in-sri-lanka

 

ManiqueGunaratne

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