SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT TO SEE INCLUSION AND SEE THE GAPS

SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT TO SEE INCLUSION AND SEE THE GAPS

 

The Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE) organized a series of training workshops and associated practitioner observation study visits in Belfast, Northern Ireland in November – December 2016 related to Supported Employment for individuals at disadvantage in accessing employment due to disability.

NIUSE is a non-governmental organisation promoting employment and vocational training opportunities for people with disabilities and people from other disadvantaged situations through the Supported Employment model. The Supported Employment model assists people with significant disabilities to access and stay in employment in the open labour market by providing individualised and on-going support. NIUSE is a membership based organisation representing persons with diverse disabilities organisations (physical, learning, mental health, sensory and hidden disabilities) from across Northern Ireland.

Along with attending the training workshops and associated practitioner observation study visits, and also to organise meetings and visits to a range of Supported Employment organisations as well as meeting with relevant Government Departments and agencies (i.e. Department for Communities, Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety). NIUSE has also links with third level academic institutions, such as Queens University and the University of Ulster across a number of faculties if our organization would wish to form links.

In addition, NIUSE currently holds the Presidency of the European Union of Supported Employment (www.euse.org) through Margaret Haddock who is the Chair of NIUSE.

Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability along with academics of University of Kelaniya, academics of University of Sri Jayawardanapura, Manager from Mas Holdings and Principal of the Naffeel School for the Deaf and Blind were trained in Supported Employment.

It was a great opportunity to meet with her and to further develop links with National Associations of Supported Employment across Europe for organisations and Sri Lanka.

Supported Employment will support the “See Inclusion see the gaps project.  SEE Inclusion SEE the Gaps is a ten-year project initiated by the Centre for Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya and the Coordinating Centre for Students with Disabilities at the University of Kelaniya to work towards bridging the gaps that give rise to barriers for individuals with disability to access education and employment. The gaps to inclusion often result from a lack of practical support frameworks and mechanisms for people with disabilities to gain active participation and equal opportunities for education and employment. The project SEE Inclusion SEE the Gaps will work to create partnerships to establish these frameworks and mechanisms and their practical application in Sri Lanka. It is a three-part project addressing the gaps in the constructs of self, education and employment at the levels of knowledge creation, dissemination, skill development and attitudinal ideologies.

University of Kelaniya organised a programme to thank all the stakeholders who supported the project and to discuss the importance of developing the carder of Supported Employment Officers at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in February 2017.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Conference theme.

conference theme

2 Manique Gunaratne speaking at the panel.

manique speaking with a smile

3 Group photograph of the Supported Employment Officers.

supported employment team

Manique Gunaratne

TALENTS OF SANDARUWAN

TALENTS OF SANDARUWAN

 

Sandaruwan Piyawansa is an ICT trainee of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. Apart from his ICT skills he has a born talent to do portraits. Everyone visiting the ICT Training Centre gives good recommendations about his talents by seeing the picture drawn by him of Manique Gunaratne which has been kept at the centre.  Sandaruwan is a wheel chair user due to a spinal cord injury. If anyone wishes to draw a picture of you please contact Sandaruwan Piyawansa on 0778528189.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Portrait of Manique by Sandaruwan.

Exif_JPEG_420
Exif_JPEG_420

 

Manique Gunaratne

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

SILOAN CENTRE FOR THE BLIND IN KOREA DONATES ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

SILOAN CENTRE FOR THE BLIND IN KOREA DONATES ASSISTIVE DEVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 

Siloan Centre for the Blind in Korea donated assistive devices for persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka. The function was organized by the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in January 2017. Korean representatives from Siloan Centre for the Blind, Korean Embasidor, representatives from Ministry of Social Services, persons with disabilities and the benificiaries were present at the ocation. 50 wheel chairs, 50 tricycles, 200 elbow crutches, 100 Luxzoom software for low vision persons, computers for graphic designing and assistance for horticulture were among the donations made. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability received few Luxzoom software for the ICT Training Centre.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Audience.crowd 1

2 Audience.crowd 1

 

Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918

 

DISABILITY INCLUSION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF IFES

DISABILITY INCLUSION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF IFES

 

The President of IFES (International Federation for Electoral System) Head Office in Washington, USA had a discussion in January 2017 with Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Mr. Ishan Jaleel from IFES on “Disability Inclusion”.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique and Ishan with the President of IFES.

ifes president manique ishan

Manique Gunaratne

Tel. – 0094112867966

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

SRI LANKA BROADCASTING CORPORATION GIVES PUBLICITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability spoke on “Rights of women with disabilities” on International Women’s Day in March 2017 at the Anduren Eliyata programme produced by Mr. Sujeewa Manage.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique and Sujeewa.manique and sujeewa

 

Audio:

 

Manique Gunaratne

Viber: 0094779571918

BEYOND THE REACH IN WESTERN PROVINCE

The Sri Lanka Chapter of the Internet Society together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability implemented “Beyond the Reach” project to train vision impaired persons on “Surfing the internet”.
This project is designed to make life easy for visually impaired people in Sri Lanka. This concept was borne while serving the soldiers with disabilities in Sri Lanka Army. As per the statistics available, over twenty million population nearly 200,000+ believed to be blind due to various reasons.(source news.lk) As per the internet for all concept in ISOC. The Internet Society is planning to make their life easy by giving them the access to information .(Websites, Kiosaks). Training sessions will be plan to make them aware of techniques in how to use internet for their development. There are two main target groups such as general public and soldiers. Considering the travelling difficulties of selected group ISOC will create a mobile lab and will deliver the training by sending trainers to the different geographical locations. Most of the websites in Sri Lanka does not include the techniques and support for accessibility of vision impaired people. Therefore, the web developers will be trained by giving them the training to improve accessibility of visually impaired people. On the other hand by installing kiosaks with supporting tools for visually impaired in government institutions such as public libraries and vidiatha centers will enable to access them government information websites easily. For example if some one want to get birth certificate by accessing government web site where it does not contain support for visually impaired , kiosak created by this projects will cater for their needs without depending on others and stand on their feet.
We want them to see the world through the eyes of internet and stand on their feet.
The Beyond the Reach inauguration was held at the EFC auditorium in January 2017. Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara – President Internet Society, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe – Director General, Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, and Ms. Manique Gunaratne – Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, and Mr. Minuwan Deshapriya – Assistant Secretary of Internet Society spoke at the inauguration. The Training was conducted by Ms. Manique Gunaratne At the newly up-graded EFC ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. A group of vision impaired persons together with few soldiers with physical disabilities from Anuradhapura Senapura Camp were trained at this residential training programme. The main objective of this training was to reach marginalized groups which the society thinks not reachable and make them empowered to gather information to develop their skills and knowledge. Certificates were awarded at the end of the 5 day training. Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe, Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Mr. Maheeswara Kirindigoda – Secretary, Internet Society, Ms. Deepashika Gunasekara from Plan Sri Lanka, Mr. Krishantha Pathirana from Maharaja TV and beneficiaries from the Sri Lanka Army and from the civil society spoke at the closing ceremony. The first “Beyond the Reach” programme was done in Uva Province.

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Group photograph at the inauguration inaguration group photo

2 Head table at the inauguration.
inaguration head table

3 Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe making a speech.
inaguration kanishka speach

4 Lighting of the oil lamp.
inaguration lighting oil lamp

5 Participants.inaguration participants

6 Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara making a speech.inaguration sagarika speach
7 Training on day 1.day 1 training
8 Training on day 2.day 2 training
9 Training on day 3.day 3 training
10 Training on day 4.day 4 training
11 Training on day 5.day 5 training
12 Audience at the closing ceremony.closing audience
13 ms. Deepashika Gunasekara making a speech at the closing ceremony.closing deepashika speach
14 Group photograph at the closing ceremony.closing group photo
15 Head table at the closing ceremony.closing head table
16 Ms. Isuri Ayeshmi speaking as a participant at the closing ceremony.
17 Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe making speech at the closing ceremony.closing isuri speach
18 Mr. Krishantha Pathirana speaking at the closing cerramony.closing kanishka
19 Mr. Mahees Kirindigoda speaking at the closing ceremony.closing mahees speach
20 Ms. Manique Gunaratne speaking at the closing ceremony.closing manique speach
21 Participants receiving certificates.closing participants receiving certificates
22 Participants.closing participants
23 Mr. Chaminda Ratnayake from the Sri Lanka Army speaking at the closing ceremony.closing ratnayake speach
24 Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara speaking at the closing ceremony.closing sagarika speach

Manique Gunaratne
Fax – 0094112867946

MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

The lecture by Janis McDavid at the German Cultural Institute in January 2017, aimed to create more sensitivity towards pushing boundaries within ourselves.

Janis motivates by his attitude and inspires to achieve great things with or without

Disabilities. His talk considered values, morality, responsibilities and possibilities to

Convey to the listeners that people with disabilities have the same values, rights and

Dreams as everybody else.

Janis McDavid, a young German student of economics (25), born without arms and legs has recently become a famous motivational speaker in Germany. German TV and weekly

Magazines have interviewed and written about him. He speaks at conferences, workshops

And joins German parliamentary sub committees as an expert on promoting greater

Acceptance of persons with disabilities and to motivate all people to focus on the positive

Side and to concentrate on the power within yourself to achieve great things.

Despite his considerable motor difficulties, Janis McDavid has embarked upon university

Studies, has travelled extensively in countries like Cuba and Namibia and is a highly

Impressive motivational speaker. The book he has written “Dein Bests Leben” (Your best

Life) is a top seller in Germany. His core message: “Make the impossible possible”.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability was invited as a guest at this event.

 

Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique with Janis and his team.

group photo

2 Manique with the UN Representative and German Ambassador.

seated with un representative and embassedor

Manique Gunaratne

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

 

EFC RELEASES BRAILLE AND LARGE PRINT POCKET CALENDARS FOR 2017

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 2017 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 180 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:

Manique handing over the first Braille calendar to Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe.

braille calendar handing over to kanishka january 2017

 

Manique Gunaratne

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

 

TERTIARY AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION COMMISSION (TVEC) SUPPORTS TO UPGRADE EFC ICT TRAINING CENTRE

The Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) supported The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to upgrade the ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. The new ICT Training Centre and the Disability Resource Centre is equipped with modern technology specially designed for persons with disabilities with accessibility. The TEVC assisted EFC ICT Training Centre with modern devices to train persons with diverse disabilities. The signing of the agreement was held at the TVEC Office at “Nipunatha Piyasa” in December 2016. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability received the grant from the Deputy Director General of TVEC, Mr. P.C.P Jayathilake.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique receiving the grant for EFC from the Deputy Director General, Mr. P.C.P. Jayathilake of TVEC.

handing over

 

Manique Gunaratne

Resource Person to Train, Promote & Develop Information & Communication Technology for Persons with Disabilities