LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (UNCRPD) FOR VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS By Manique Gunaratne

It is very important for vision impaired persons to be empowered and also to know their rights. People in the very grassroots level do not get any opportunity to be educated in their rights. UNCRPD clearly states the rights of persons with disabilities. The Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped and Myright Sweden organized a workshop for 30 vision impaired persons in Kalutara, Galle, Matara and in Hambanthota districts. The participants were really enthusiastic to learn about the 50 articles of the UNCRPD. Practical training sessions made them understand more on the subject matter. Persons with disabilities are marginalized mainly due to lack of knowledge on their rights. Although persons with disabilities are subject to discrimination they hardly take legal action. The reason behind this is that they do not know the actions they should take as persons with disabilities. In June 2014 when this workshop was conducted at Dilena Hotel Ms. Manique Gunaratne was one of the resource persons.

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MICROSOFT EXCEL FOR VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS By Manique Gunaratne

It is a real challenge for vision impaired persons to serve in the I.T. field. Changing mind set is really important when dealing with i.T. for vision impaired persons. To be equally capable as a sighted person a vision impaired person must develop their I.T. skills. Some sighted people always wonder how a blind person could operate a computer. It is the same computer a sighted person use but a screen reading software is installed which converts text to speech. Microsoft Excel is used to do mathematical calculations. It is very important for vision impaired persons to be employed in different fields. Training in Microsoft Excel opens the pathway for them to work in the accounting field. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon I.C.t. Training Centre trained a group of vision impaired persons in Microsoft Excel in June 2014. Up to date 43 trainees have been trained in Microsoft Excel by Ms. Manique Gunaratne at this training centre.

 

E.F.C. I.C.T. TRAINING CENTRE STARTS A COURSE OF STUDY IN MICROSOFT POWERPOINT WITH A NEW GROUP OF VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS By Manique gunaratne

In March 2015 ms. Manique gunaratne started training on Microsoft PowerPoint with a new group of vision impaired persons at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon I.C.T. Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. Up to date E.f.C. have trained 37 vision impaired persons on Microsoft PowerPoint. These new eight trainees are:

1 Mr. Chandana De Silva (Job Seeker)

2 Mr. Pream Kumar (Job seeker)

3 Mr. Sayed Ahamed (Chemistry Teacher at Genius Acadamy)

4 Mr. Jeewan Lilaratne (Job seeker)

5 Mr. Sanjeewa Kumara (Job seeker)

6 Mr. M.W. Kulasiri (Job seeker)

7 Ms. Sanali Senanayake (Student, University of Colombo)

8 Sivapathasundaran Pratheepan (Student, University of Jaffna)

If you can provide an employment opportunity for any of the above job seekers please contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

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WORLD VISION LANKA INCLUDES WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES IN THEIR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATIONS By Manique Gunaratne

The month of March is a significant month for women as we celebrate the International Women’s Day. It is not only just for women but women with disabilities around the world celebrate the International Women’s Day. This year in order to bring inclusion to the society most Women’s Day celebrations were done together with women with disabilities and women with not yet with disabilities. The World Vision Lanka organized the International Women’s Day celebration at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. This year’s theme was “Calling for Greater Equality – Make it Happen”. 

The Key Note Address was by Prof Maithree Wickramasinghe on Importance of Gender   Mainstreaming in Organizations and Humanitarian field. The other speakers were Ms. Manique Guneratne from The employers’ Federation of Ceylon on How to include women with disability to mainstream development, Ms. Cyrene Siriwardhana – Significant legal lessons learnt of tackling violence against Women and Rev Lionel Peris – Religious perspective (all faiths) of empowering women.

World Vision Lanka launched the “Men Care” manual at this occasion. The men care programme implemented by World Vision Lanka is a great support for women in Sri Lanka especially women in the plantation sector.

The street drama on “Domestic violence” had a very great impact on the society. It clearly indicated the causes of domestic violence and who are responsible for it and how you could reduce domestic violence.

World Vision Lanka donated a laptop to The E.F.C. I.C.T. Training Centre for the benefit of all women with disabilities.

The Sunday Island newspaper published an article. Please read the article on:

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=121796

 

 

world vision women's day pannel

VISION IMPAIRED WOMEN CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY By Manique Gunaratne

In March 2015 the vision impaired women celebrated the International Women’s Day at The Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped. It was a day filled with laughter, fun and excitement for vision impaired women. There were competitions for singing, poetry and essays. The guest speakers were Ms. Sandhya Kodduruarachchi, The Principal of School for the Blind in Ratmalana, Ms. Sulochana Sigera, Chair Person Women in Management and Ms. Manique Gunaratne. Vision impaired ladies from The E.F.C. I.C.T. Training Centre participated at this event and won many competitions and received gifts from the Chief Guest. Empowering women with disabilities is very important to make them independent. Most vision impaired women are marginalized due to lack of education, vocational training and employment opportunities. The society must realize that vision impaired women are precious and all mankind should be educated towards women with disabilities.

 

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“MOST INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR ON SPECIAL SKILLS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL SKILLS AND ACHIEVEMENTS AS A WOMAN” By Manique Gunaratne

The “Women in Management Genre of Excellence Professional and Career Women Awards” was held on 25 July 2014 at Hotel Taj. The Professional & Career Women Awards, which is an integral part of the Sri Lankan business calendar for the fourth consecutive year, celebrating the achievements of some truly remarkable women in the country. The awards recognize the achievements of women for their professional or entrepreneurial milestones and to those demonstrating outstanding leadership and managerial qualities in their respective fields, contributing significantly to society and the country’s development. The evening was glamorous, uplifting and inspiring. Guests got the chance to mingle with the stars, sit back and listen to music performed by inspirational artists and hear the stories of women who were being celebrated for a whole range of different reasons. This was a beautiful event and included a ‘red’ carpet and publicity photos. The event had great celebrity attendees and press coverage. The Chief Guest was Hon. Minister Basil Rajapakse Minister of Economic Development along with the Guest of Honour, High Commissioner Her Excellency Shelley Whiting – High Commission of Canada. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was awarded the “Most Inspirational Woman of the year on Special Skills for the exceptional Skills and Achievements as a Woman”.

She was the only award winner to receive a standing ovation by the audience.

 

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SMART CANE TRAINING AT THE EMPLOYERS’ FEDERATION OF CEYLON By Manique Gunaratne

Smart Cane device is an electronic travel aid used in conjunction with a normal white cane that assists a visually impaired person in mobility and navigation.

While the normal white cane can only detect obstacles up to knee height, this device is capable of detecting obstacles from knee to head height. In other words, the Smart Cane is not meant to replace the white cane but to augment its functionality. It can detect obstacles up to 3 meters when used outdoor and up to 1.8 meters when used indoor. With this increased range, it warns the users about impending obstacles before possible collision happens and helps in finding collision-free paths.

Smart cane device is not meant to replace white cane but to augment its functionality.

 

The benefits of using the SmartCane device are as follows:

  • It helps to detect knee-above obstacles which are usually not detected by the white cane. Such obstacles might include a tree branch, underside of a car, hanging cloth strings, protruding window air conditioners, etc. As these obstacles usually pose a risk of injury to the head and upper part of the body, it is critical to detect them early.
  • It increases the detection range to 3 meters in the long-range mode and to 1.8 meters in the short-range mode. The enhanced detection range helps in informing the user about the presence of obstacles much before touching the actual obstacle. An object as big as wall and as small as a 3 cm wide raised pipe at 3 m can be detected from mentioned distance. This early detection helps in avoiding unwanted collisions.
  • It helps in finding collision free-paths while walking by detecting and avoiding obstacles.

 

In March 2015 The Indian Institute of Technology gave a smart cane training for a group of vision impaired persons at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon. Ms. Manique Gunaratne is also a proud user of a smart cane.smart cane training

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR VISION IMPAIRED PERSONS TO INSTITUTIONALIZE By Manique Gunaratne

Many vision impaired persons in Sri Lanka are confined to the four walls at home. Research shows that lack of education, lack of vocational training makes them more dependent. Vision impaired persons at the very grassroots level do not get the relevant information for various services and facilities available for them. It is important for vision impaired persons to know their rights in order to be empowered. Some rights cannot be met individually. It has to be done through advocacy and lobbying through institutionalizing. Working as a pressure group will also assist them to meet their rights. In order to make the vision impaired persons strong in their rights The Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped and Myright Sweden organized a workshop for vision impaired persons in Kegalle and Kandy districts at the Kandy Y.M.C.a. in July 2014. These information should reach the very grassroots level. Ms. Manique Gunaratne did a presentation on “Importance of vision impaired women to institutionalize.