British council sensitise staff members on disability


The British Council took another initiative to include persons with disabilities in their agenda. In November 2015 The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability did another Employer Sensitization programme at the British Council. It was really encouraging to see how much they were interested in making it a place where everyone would like to visit with inclusion.

Staff members were trained on:

  1. Understanding disability
  2. Legislature & Policies for Persons with Disabilities in Sri lanka
  3. Interacting with Persons with Disabilities – “You & Your Customers with Disabilities”– Disability Etiquette, interaction with people who have specific impairments, disability terminology – acceptable and not acceptable words
  4. Access & Technical Specifications for built environments
  5. Disability Communication & Skills – “Inclusion in Your Organisation”
  6. Management Responsibility
  7. How to make the library accessible for all

The response was really good. Majority of the staff members agreed to implement most of the features recommended for them. In the near future the British Council team will make the British Council a place where everyone loves to visit with inclusion.

The workshop was conducted by Ms. ManiqueGunaratne.


Picture descriptions:

1 Group photograph of the participants of staff members group 2.

morning group

2 Manique conducting the workshop.

manique making presentation

3 Group photograph of the staff members group 1.

afternoon group

4 Participants at the workshop.



Executive Committee Member – Asian blind Union



International White cane day 2015


The International White Cane day is celebrated every year on 15 October. All organisations working for vision impaired persons celebrated this event. National Forum of Visually Handicapped Women celebrated this event in October at the Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped with representatives from Women in Management, International Women’s Society, representatives from the Divisional Secretariat, Father LokendraAbeyratne and vision impaired women.

The Colombo district branch of the Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped celebrated this day in November with the representatives of the Lions Club and vision impaired members. A walk was organized from Independence Square to the Lions Club Activity Centre. Thereafter was a gather at the Lions Club Activity Centre. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne from the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability was invited to make a speech on “Significance of the white cane and the international white cane day”.



Executive Committee Member – Daisy Lanka Foundation





CISCO Women rock it


CISCO launched a new CISCO TV series “Women Rock IT” in November 2015. The Surprising Role Technology Help People and The Planet. This programme is to Rock in with Women who realize their passion helping people and the planet. This programme was held at the Vocational Training Authority. Rocking women in the Technology field were invited as resource persons for this event.     

AlaneCahalane, CEO of Veterinary Specialty Hospital Hong Kong spoke on how Technology played a pivotal role in reviving hopes that a lame bear will walk again.

AnuSridharan, Co-Founder and CEO of NextDrop in India spoke on how technology is being used to solve the impact of an unreliable water delivery service in India.
ManiqueGunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon spoke on how technology has played a major role in life’s of persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka.

MaithreeMalwathegoda, Assistant General Manager Fusion spoke on how a woman would benefit technology in order to have a successful professional and family life in Sri Lanka.


Picture description:

1 Manique making the presentation.

making presentation single

2 Manique highlights the important points.

making presentation

3 Participants at the programme.



National Campaigner for Rights of Women with Disabilities – Raising Our Voices for Us





Needle threader for vision impaired persons


The needle threader is very useful for vision impaired persons to insert the thread into the needle. The vision impaired trainees at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre has the privilege of using the needle threaders. Especially the vision impaired women.



Manique N.T. VTS_01_1



Founder Members Team – South Asian Women with Disabilities Network



Ict and cisco training on air through the sri lanka broadcasting corporation

Ict and cisco training on air through the sri lanka broadcasting corporation


The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation invited The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability to make awareness on disability in the half an hour programme titled “AndurenEliyata” in November 2015. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne spoke about the ICT training done at the ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. The EFC would like to extend its sincere gratitude to Mr. Sujeewa Manage for providing this great opportunity for the disability community.


Programme recording:

Picture description:

Manique and Sujeewa recording the programme.

manique and sujeewa


Head of ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities and Disability Resource Centre of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon



The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon represents Cisco academy conference and cisco awards 2015


Cisco Networking Academy has been partnering with education

Institutions, instructors and students for more than 15 years to build

And shape for future workforce.

This success of this program has been to Instructors of Cisco

Networking Academy. Academy Instructors are critical to create joint impact. The employers’ Federation of Ceylon ICT Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities is a CISCO Academy.

The Cisco Networking Academy Conference was held in November 2015 at Cisco office Colombo. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne participated at this conference as a CISCO International Trainer.

The conference was focused on three main topics.

First sharing best practices from the NetAcad Community for the

NetAcad Community. Second was about the NetAcad curriculum and roadmap updates and third, to be inspired by new projects and concepts to come in the Near future around the Internet of Everything.

Internet of Everything’ session was led by Rajiv Niles, Director

Digital Transformation and IOE Acceleration.

Technical breakout Sessions was led by AnanthRao, Technical

Manager APAC

The CISCO Awards 2015 was held at Cinnamon Grand Hotel. The Director General, Mr. KanishkaWeerasinghe and Ms. ManiqueGunaratne participated for the CISCO Awards 2015.


Picture descriptions:

1 Manique at the conference.

at conference

2 Manique at the awards ceremony.


3 Group photograph of the Instructors


(Honoured, Desha Bandu) Ms. H.K. ManiqueGunaratne


Sri lanka broadcasting corporation give publicity for small business development and three wheeler modification for persons with disabilities


Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation invited Ms. ManiqueGunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability to do an half an hour programme titled “AndurenEliyata”. She spoke about the Small Business Development programme and the three wheeler modification project done under the ILO International LabourOrganisation) LEED (Local Empowerment through Economic Development) project. There was a good response from the listeners with disabilities. Sending the message across to the grassroots level is very important. I greatly appreciate the initiative taken by Mr. Sujeewa Manage from the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.


Picture description:

Manique with Sujeewa recording the programme.

manique and sujeewa



Face time: 0094779571918


University of Colombo includes persons with disabilities in their agenda


In the recent past the University of Colombo initiated in organizing many programmes for persons with disabilities. In November 2015 the authorities organized a Workshop on Implementation, Accountability and Enforcement of Disability Rights in Sri Lanka, Lessons from the US Experience”.  It was organised by the Centre for Disability Research Education and Practice, established under the Department of Sociology in University of Colombo. As part of this programmeJohn L. Wodatch, renowned disability attorney for the US Department of Justice and leading experts discussed issues pertaining to the implementation and enforcement of disability legislation and provide support in capacity building and strengthen the laws and rights of citizens with disabilities in Sri Lanka. Academics, professionals and leading experts were invited for this programme at the University.

Nicole Chulick, Counselor – Press, Cultural and Educational Affairs for the U.S. Embassy, in honor of John L. Wodatch, Retired

Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, organized a function at Lincoln House.

Ms. ManiqueGunaratne was invited for both events to share experiences.



Whats up: 0094779571918


EFC’s ICT Training Centre launches globally recognized CISCO qualification


Since its inception in 2001, the Network on Disability of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) has taken strides, notably in the fields of ICT training, language and skills training and economic empowerment. The ICT Training Centre of the EFC which was launched in 2009 with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is the nucleus of the Network on Disability.  Embracing the vision of ‘productive employment through social harmony’, its objective is to develop the employability skills of persons with diverse disabilities in the country.

Under the adept guidance of Manique Gunaratne, Head of the ICT Training Centre, it has benefited 159 persons with diverse disabilities to date including school leavers, job seekers, undergraduates and those employed from all corners of the island. Ms. Gunaratne was recruited as a role model to the Network on Disability in 2001, as the first employee with a disability. Losing her sight 15 years ago due to retinitispigmentosa for which no cure has still been found, Ms. Gunaratne’s commitment to the betterment of the visually impaired in the country is exemplary.

Trained both locally and internationally to teach, promote and develop ICT for persons with disabilities, Ms. Gunaratne has been nationally and internationally recognized. A Gold Medalist at the World Assembly for Women with Disabilities held in Seoul, Korea in 2011, she is also armed with several coveted national awards including the Keerthi Sri Lankabhimani Desha Bandu Award, Zonta Woman Achiever and Most Inspirational Woman on Special Skills of the Year – all of which was conferred on her last year and the Diriya Kantha Award in 2007.

The Training Centre fully equipped with more than 50 devices specially designed for persons with disabilities and other software, also collaborates with Curtin University of Technology in Australia and SLIIT (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) Malabe. The programs are also recognized by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and within the EFC membership which consists of 620 companies.

The ICT Training Centre receiving the CISCO Academy status last year is the latest feather in its cap. “This is a milestone of the ICT Training Centre as it is the only training centre in the country which trains people with diverse disabilities in CISCO courses. CISCO is a globally recognized IT qualification,” said Ms. Gunaratne who now joins the international team of trainers to conduct CISCO courses. In April this year, EFC commenced conducting Cisco Computer Network Associate Courses (CCNA). “Specialists reveal that persons with CISCO qualifications are often ranked in the top three highest paid slots. CISCO’s own research indicates that certified professionals often earn as much as 10% more than peers without CISCO credentials working in similar routing and networking jobs.”

The demand for IT workers with CISCO certifications often outstrips the supply, says the Head of EFC’s ICT Training Centre who cites three main objectives of introducing this globally recognized qualification to persons with disabilities. “The prime objective of it is to improve the computer knowledge and networking skills of them. Moreover, it aims to improve the employability of the trainees and create a group of trainers for future training needs.” The training team consists of Ms. Manique Gunaratne and Mr. Anuradha Jayakody, Senior Lecturer from SLIIT, Malabe.

For the CCNA Course, nine persons with disabilities have been selected. Among them are three vision impaired participants, three hearing impaired participants and three with physical disabilities. On 23rd October 2015 the Commercial Bank donated millions worth of CISCO equipment for the conduct of the courses. The handing over of equipments was held at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon auditorium.

The following articles were published in the news papers.


Picture description:


Group photograph of Mr. Vajira Ellepola (EFC), Ms. Sonali De Silva (EFC), Ms. Manique Gunaratne (EFC), Ms. Priyanthi Perera (Commercial Bank), Mr. Dishan Fernando (Commercial Bank), Mr. Ashoka Baddage and Ms. Kalhari Kaluarachchi (CISCO).


Manique Gunaratne

Viber: 0094779571918


Employer sensitization at mas in kilinochchi


MAS Holdings presents their 25 year tradition of “great working places” to the North of the country, as two major Divisions formalize plans to build manufacturing

Facilities, MAS Intimates Vidiyal and MAS Active Vaanavil, in Kilinochchi. The names of the facilities themselves, Vidiyal, meaning “dawn” and Vaanavil

Signifying “rainbows” aptly symbolize MAS Holdings’ thinking behind this venture. Like the “rainbow” which is a collaboration of colours, MAS’ passion

Is to unite communities and work together in the area to herald a new phase in the development of the region.

At maturity Vaanavil and Vidiyal together hope to provide employment for approximately 2000 direct employees and positively contribute to the livelihoods

Of their families. MAS offer a solid employee value proposition honed through two and half decades; the opportunity for professional as well as personal

Development. Many indirect employment opportunities have also opened up. The project and peripheral activity will provide employment opportunity for other segments of the labour force.

MAS Active inaugurated a temporary training and manufacturing facility in Thiru Nagar Kilinochchi.

These pioneering employees will eventually become team leaders and multi-skilled workers. The facility will be supported by experienced staff from MAS’s

Existing facilities with the focus on recruiting and developing local talent.

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ILO (International LabourOrganisation) LEED (Local Empowerment through Economic Development) team did an employer sensitization programme at MAS Kilinochchi for 40 staff members. The “Introduction to network on disability” was done by Ms. Sonali De Silva and Ms. ManiqueGunaratne did the training on “ethics when dealing with persons with disabilities and on accessibility”. It was really impressing to see the smiling faces of the team members when they gathered for the group photograph. Most of the staff members had family members with disabilities. So it was really informative for them.


Picture description:

1 Activities for the participants.

mas activities for participants

2 Group photograph of the participants.

mas group

3 Manique making a presentation.

mas manique presentation

4 Participants of the workshop.

mas participants

5 Sonali making a presentation.

mas sonali presentation