In February 2014 the “Leadership and Project Management” workshop was organized by the Asian Blind Union and the Nepal Association of the Blind at Hotel Manaslu in Katmandu, Nepal. Following areas were covered at the conference.

An overview of International Treaties and strategies for their Ratification and implementation.

Gender policy of Asian Blind Union.

Identifying issues and developing strategies for implementation of Asian Blind Union Gender Policy.

Assessment of the status of Ratification of Marrakesh Copy Right Treaty.

Issues relating to strengthening of organizational capacity of Asian Blind Union affiliate organization in the sub-region, Mapping of need.

Identifying issues relating to formation of groups by women leaders in the process of development of the respective project and their experiences with regard to group dynamic.

Strategy to enhance participation of Asian Blind Union affiliate organizations in the work of Asian Blind Union

Identifying the issues and difficulties faced by women leaders during development of their respective projects by using the project format.

Developing and Presentation of a strategy for implementation of the specific project.

Strengthening skills for advocacy on Ratification and Implementation of UNCRPD.

Empowering Affiliate organizations for ensuring inclusion of blind /partially sighted persons in the programmes of International Developmental Agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF, Asian Development Bank, UNESCO, ILO etc.

Development of project for implementation in the respective country by developing partnership with aforementioned international agencies.

Vision impaired persons from South Asian countries participated for this workshop. Ms. Manique Gunaratne represented Sri Lanka for this workshop.



Manique Gunaratne

Fax – 0094114547649




In April 2014 the awarding of certificates to the I.C.T. trainees of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon was held at The E.F.C. auditorium. We had two guest speakers for the occasion. Dr. Iain Murrey, Senior Lecturer and Course Co-coordinator of Curtin University of Technology in Australia and Dr. Sohan Dharmaraja, a Researcher and Consultant qualified in U.S.A. The Director General of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Mr. Ravi Pieris made the welcome speech. The Co-coordinator of the E.F.C.Network on Disability, Ms. Tanya Warnakulasuriya did a speech on the Network on Disability. Dr. Iain Murrey did a very informative speech on “What the Cisco programs offer and how this leads to jobs for people with vision impairment”. Dr. Sohan Dharmaraja explain about the I pad Braille software developed by him and he donated 7 I pads with the I pad Braille software. Mr. Sayed Ahamed spoke on the experience of an I.C.T. trainee of the E.F.C. on behalf of all I.C.T. trainees. Ms. Manique Gunaratne did a presentation on the success of the I.C.T. training Centre. After that 30 visually impaired persons who have successfully completed their various courses on I.C.T. received certificates and training bags. It was a really beautiful and successful event. Many radio stations, TV stations and newspapers gave publicity to this event.


Manique Gunaratne

Mobile – 0094779571918

Group photo


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon I.C.t. Training Centre extended its services for persons with diverse disabilities. The I.C.t. Training Centre focused more on vision impaired persons because they are the people who need I.C.t. to be equally capable as sighted persons in the work environment. From April 2015 the I.C.t. Training Centre conducts training courses for persons with diverse disabilities. The E.F.C. I.C.t. Training Centre is now a CISCO Academy. This is the only training centre in Sri Lanka which trains persons with disabilities to do CISCO courses.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon I.C.T. Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities started in 2009 with the support of the I.L.O. Up to-date 157 vision impaired persons have been registered to do various courses conducted at this training centre. These trainees are from all districts of the country including the North and the East. The trainees consist of job seekers, school leavers, university students and people who are gainfully employed. The EFC started conducting CISCO courses together with S.L.I.I.T. and Curtin University of Technology in Australia in 2013. The CISCO Information Technology Essential (I.T.E.) course is currently conducted at the training centre.

In April 2015 E.F.C. started conducting CCNA (Cisco Computer Network Associate) courses.

Cisco certification salary surveys show consistent gains in compensation among professionals who invest time mastering the networking company’s technology.

According to the specialists, persons with Cisco certifications are often ranked in the top three highest-paid slots. Cisco’s own research indicates that certified professionals

Often earn as much as 10 percent more than peers without Cisco credentials working in similar routing and networking jobs.

According to company officials, Cisco organizes its certifications into four broad tiers designed to help professionals measure their growth over time.

In addition, professionals can earn highly specialized versions of each certification, validating their expertise in niche areas such as:

  • Network design
  • Routing and switching
  • Voice
  • Wireless
  • Service provider operations
  • System architecture

The demand for IT workers with Cisco certifications often outstrips the supply. At many large employers, where IT and networking roles have been brought in-house, hiring managers often rely on industry certifications to verify a job seeker’s skills and expertise. Because most Cisco Certifications stack over time, professionals can often divulge their tenure in the industry just by revealing their highest certification level.


  1. The prime objective of the project is to improve the knowledge of computer and networking skills of persons with disabilities.
  2. Improve the employability of the trainees.
  3. Create a group of trainers for future training needs.

The training team consists of Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and Mr. Anuradha Jayakody, Senior Lecturer from S.L.I.I.T.

For the CCNA course 9 persons with disabilities have been selected. There are 3 vision impaired, 3 hearing impaired and 3 persons with physical disabilities to be trained for the CCNA course.

The trainees are:

Ms. Kumudu Dhanasinghe (Vision impaired, Graduate from University of Peradeniya, Development Officer at Sandagala Special School), Mr. Sayed Ahamed (Vision impaired, graduate from Madurai Kamarajar University in India, Chemistry Teacher), Ms. Gamika Dilmi (Hearing impaired graphic designer), Irunika Mahawedage (Hearing impaired graphic designer), Mr. Samith Ranasinghe (Hearing impaired, Staff Ministry of Social Services), Mr. Kalinda Thilakaratne (Spinal cord injury), Mr. Chamila Suranga (Physical disability) and Mr. Sandaruwan Piyawansa (Spinal cord injury).

If anyone can create an employment opportunity for Samith, Irunika, Gamika, Chamila and Sandaruwan please contact me.


Manique Gunaratne

Board Member – Visually Handicapped Trust Fund of Ministry of Social Services

group photo ccna class