The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon conducted job interviews in February 2019 for persons with disabilities to provide employment opportunities in private sector companies.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Persons with disabilities ready for interviews.

2 Group of persons with disabilities.

3 Participants preparing for interviews.

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter


The Department of Disability Studies in University of Kelaniya together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon gave hands on experience to medical students on assistive devices for persons with disabilities in February 2019. The assistive devices exhibition was a good opportunity for medical students to understand the importance of using devices to work equally capable as persons with non-disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera, Mr. Chamod Nayanananda and Ms. Samudra Gamage supported the medical students to understand the tasks of each device. Ms. Manique Gunaratne also made a presentation on “Difficulties faced by persons with disabilities when accessing health care facilities”.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Medical students participating at the programme.

2 Manique, Ayasana, Chamod and Samudra at the exhibition.

3 Manique, Chamod and Samudra with the assistive devices.


4 Manique explaining the devices.

5 Manique making a presentation.

6 Dr. Shyamini Hettiarachchi conducting a session.

Manique Gunaratne

Sub Committee Member of Policy Development Unit of Prime Minister’s Office on Vocational, Technical Training and Employment Forcusing on Persons with Disabilities



CRI (China Radio International) Sri Lanka invited Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to speak on “Buddhism and women with disabilities” at a one hour live radio programme on Duruthu poya day in January 2019.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique, Tissera and Tharidu recording the programme.


Manique Gunaratne

Vice President – Rehab Lanka Sports Club for Persons with Disabilities


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with CIC Educational & Charitable Trust Gives scholarships for EFC trainees who are under-graduates from Universities of Sri Lanka. These scholarships are awarded every year. Two partially sighted under-graduates from University of Kelaniya received the scholarships for last year.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Mr. Chamod Nayanananda receiving the scholarship from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

2 Ms. Umesha Adhiraj receiving the certificate from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

Manique Gunaratne

Resource Person – Beyond the Reach Project of Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter


UN Women invited Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to the launch of the research report on “Women with Disabilities and Access to Economic Opportunities: Through the Lens of Gender Budgets”, together with  the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Sri Lanka.

The report launch was held at Hotel Taj Samudra in February 2019. The study is the first of its kind which examines public policies and budgetary gaps from a gender and disability perspective in relation to employment and economic opportunities.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique and Ayasana.

2 Banner.

Manique Gunaratne

Manager – Specialise Training and Disability Resource Centre of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon will support Navageevana Rehabilitation Centre in Tangalle in conducting training programmes for persons with disabilities in the Southern province. Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon did a study tour in January 2019 to explore the possibilities of training opportunities.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Making prosthetics.

2 Manique and Ayasana at the play house made of empty plastic bottles by children with disabilities.

3 Play house made of empty plastic bottles by children with disabilities.

4 School for children with disabilities.

5 Craft shop with craft items made by persons with disabilities.

6 Making artificial limbs.

7 Manique and Ayasana at the entrance.

8 Manique presenting the activities of the Network on Disability for staff members.

9 Welcome by Ms. Raenilene from Navageevana.

Manique Gunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials) and CCNA (Cisco Computer Network Associates)



A research team from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) planned to conduct a comprehensive research project aimed at investigating quality of life and employability potential of visually impaired persons in Sri Lanka.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon participated at this information sharing session.

This research aims to address three knowledge areas with respect to managerial and socio-economic implications of Visually Impaired Persons in Sri Lanka. The broad objectives are:

To determine the current status of prevalence of Visually Impaired Persons and the scope of the service provision toward empowering them and support their social inclusion in Sri Lanka. This attempt is aimed at exploring the extent of service gaps and their unmet need.

To develop and validate a comprehensive instrument for determining their quality of life as applicable to socio-economic standards and cultural dimensions prevailing in Sri Lanka. This could lead to examine how far securing employment would result in enhancing their quality of life.

To develop a mapping model of their employability potential and the job market opportunities. This exercise is attempted taking into account the possessed and impartible skills of Visually Impaired Persons in Sri Lanka and the potential job roles apposite to them.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique and Ayasana.

2 Participants at the meeting.

Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member – Disability Organisations’ Joint Front




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 2019 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 persons with disabilities 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.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

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

Manique Gunaratne

Advisory Board – CENWOR Employment for Women with Disabilities Project


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and the Mobility International USA (MIUSA) jointly implemented the Regional WILD (Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability) Asia 2018 in Colombo in May 2018. This was a first of its kind to be initiated by MIUSA in Asia.

A US-based non-profit organization, MIUSA is committed to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. MIUSA’s training sessions are fashioned to prepare people with disabilities to take leadership in advocating for inclusion across a wide range of sectors, including education, employment, micro enterprise, violence prevention, access to health care, technology and policy making.

The Colombo workshop brought together 15 women participants with diverse disabilities. three local participants joined representatives from China, India and Nepal.

All participants of the Colombo workshop were required to train women with disabilities in their own community at local level. One of the local participant Ms. Chamari Sandamali from Jinasena Training & Rehabilitation Trust conducted the WILD Sri Lanka 2018 in partnership with Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon for 23 women with diverse disabilities at the Help Age Sri Lanka in December 2018.

The participants exchanged their experiences, and explore strategies to become catalysts of inclusiveness and change. The main objective of WILD- Sri Lanka was to empower the participants to become agents of change, by empowering them to give leadership to those with disabilities at the grass root level.

The workshop which was also a celebration of diversity and mutual learning and sharing brought under the spotlight the expertise of the participants in areas such as problem solving, motivation, dining etiquettes, personal grooming, yoga exercises, sexual and re-productive health and professional development. The participants got the opportunity to show case their talents at the talent show.

“The EFC’s Network on Disability and its disability resource center have received global accolades as an exemplary model. The ILO Global Business Disability Network has consistently highlighted the achievements of the network. The Network serves as a link between the business community and the organizations dealing with disability issues to facilitate mainstreaming its work.

This workshop brought together women activists with disabilities from all corners of Sri Lanka who are passionate to strengthen their leadership skills and work for greater inclusion of women and girls with disabilities. Women with disabilities need to be recognized as leaders in both humanitarian and development efforts in this region and throughout the world.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Banner.

2 Awarding certificate to Chandima.

3 Awarding the certificate to Kaushalya.

4 Chammi interpreting in sign language.

5 Nirosha presenting a tocan of appreciation to Chandima.

6 Dance by deaf participants at the talent show.

7 Group photograph.

8 Problem solving session by Ruwani and Samudra.

9 Kaushalya presenting a tocan of appreciation to Ms. Yashoravi Bakmeewawa for the session on Motivation.

10 Manique and Sandamali.

11 Manique

12 Ms. Yashoravi Bakmeewawa, Assistant Director from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon conducting the Motivation session.

13 Nirosha volunteering for the programme.

14 Gamika lighting the oil lamp.

15 Samudra lighting the oil lamp.

16 Perssonal grooming session. (make up session)

17 Ms. Navini Jayasinghe – Senior Manager – People Development, HR, Ms. Sahani Maddugoda – Assistant Manager – HR Services, HR, Ms. Rovina Vandersay – Senior Executive – People Development, HR from Nestle Lanka conducting the sessions on Dining etiquettes and personal grooming.

18 Nisha at the problem solving session.

19 Dinushi at the problem solving session.

20 Manique, Nisha, Sandamali, Subhani and Chandima at the panel of the professional development session.

21 Dr. Menaka Fernando conducting the sexual and re-productive session.

22 Participants attending the sexual and re-productive session.

23 String game.

24 Dining etiquettes session.

25 Dining etiquettes.

26 table etiquettes.

27 Table etiquettes

28 Baloon dance at the talent show.

29 Drama by Nisha at the talent show.

30 Pradeepa singing at the talent show.

31 Manique making the welcome speech.

32 Yoga session.

33 Yoga session.

34 Yoga session.

35 Group photograph at the yoga session.

36 Participants attending yoga.

37 Yoga trainer with participants.

Manique Gunaratne

Expert Body of the Sub Committee on Persons with Disabilities – Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka