SHINING IN THE DARK

 

The ICT Training Centre receiving the CISCO Academy status in 2014 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.” 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.

Manique Gunaratne is the only person with a disability in Sri Lanka to receive the qualification both in Cisco Information Technology Essentials (ITE) and Cisco CCNA (Cisco Computer Network Associate). Along with the certificates she received a special recommendation letter from Cisco International. Now she will join the international team of Cisco trainers.

 

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

Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment 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. Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment 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 through Margaret Haddock who is the Chair of NIUSE.

9 women qualified as Supported Employment Offices as the first 9 Supported Employment Officers in Sri Lanka. Manique Gunaratne is the only woman with a disability to be qualified as a Supported Employment Officer from the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment.

 

Manique Gunaratne received all the above certificates at the EFC ICT Graduation held at the Sri Lanka Foundation in November 2017. The Chief Guest Ms. Simring Singh, Country Director, International Labour Organisation awarded the certificates to Ms.  Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon.

 

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique receiving the certificates.

 

Manique Gunaratne

Executive Committee Member for Advocacy and Lobbying for Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Sri Lanka Foundation for Rehabilitation of the Disabled

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