Friday, July 1, 2016

Carom Tournament for vision impaired People

For the 1st time in Sri Lanka the New light welfare center organized a Carom tournament for vision impaired people. Playing Carom is a challenging game for a vision impaired person, but the tournament was a success.
16 teams participated in the tournament. It was a knockout tournament. A team consists of one vision impaired person and a normal vision person. The normal vision person should help the vision impaired person to identify the positions of seeds. With the help of the normal vision person the vision impaired person should put the seed to the hole by using the disk. Other non-playing teams supported the playing team. The players in a team were selected randomly.
My team partner was a Korean person who hasn’t played Carom before. In the first round we won our game. I pot 8 seeds out of 10. In the second round I pot 6 out of 10. In the 3rd round I again pot 6 seeds out of 10. Then came the final round. After a tuff game we somehow managed to win. I pot 7 seeds out of 10 in the final.
It was amazing how good vision impaired players were, because everyone played well. After every shot the vision impaired player was curious to know that did they pot a seed with their chance? Everyone enjoyed the tournament.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Sri Lanka Council for the Blind Web Site

1st June 2016,
Mr. Tuan Rushdi,
HI eMarketing Solutions.

Dear Mr. Rushdi,

Appreciation of voluntary Service

On behalf of the executive committee & all vision impaired persons attached to the Sri Lanka Council for the Blind, I’m writing to express our deepest appreciation for the service you rendered by designing and maintaining free of charge the SLCB web site:

Your pro bono work has given us a creative, unique & visually appealing web site which is accessible to vision impaired users;  We trust you will continue to support us in the future too.
Thank you once again.
Shalika Karunarathna
Hony. Secretary

Sri Lanka Council for the Blind

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 Real Time Divisional Tournament

Winning the Real Time Divisional Tournament was a great start for me this year in Chess. I was unbeaten in the tournament, winning 6 consecutive games. 

2016 Real Time Divisional Tournament Final Standings
After 6 rounds of play, here is the winners of each division in the tournament:
Division 1 Winner: Olivier Deville, record 5-0-1
Division 2 Winner: Mark Hague, Record 4-0-2
Division 3 Winner: Tuan Rushdi, Record 6-0-0
Division 4 Winner: Evan Reese, Record 5-0-1
Now the final standings for all players by each division.
Division 1 Final Standings
Olivier Deville, 5 points
Jim Thoune, 4 points
Randy Kruzeniski, 2.5 points
Jean Achelle, .5 points
Division 2 Final Standings
Mark Hague, 4 points
Matthew Gibbons, 3 points
Regis Gerbaux, 3 points
Curtis Cockayne, 2 points
Division 3 Final Standings
Tuan Rushdi, 6 points
Catherine Dib, 3 points
Dammy Onafeko, 3 points
Peter Feysa, 0 points
Division 4 Final Standings
Evan Reese, 5 points
Jim Homme, 3 points
Estelita Clayton, 2 points
Jerry Doody, 2 points

For more details :

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My working experience as a Bio Medical Support Technician

Finding a suitable job for a vision impaired person is a challenging task. I lost my job twice because of my low vision, while I was working as a manager trainee & later when I was working as an IT executive. It became really hard to me to recover after I lost my first job. It took me 2 years to make my mind that I’m strong and capable of working in an office environment. But the same thing happened the second time as well. At that time I gave up looking for jobs because your employer is trying to get the maximum out of you at work, being vision impaired is a huge disadvantage for you while working in an office environment especially the number of employees are less than 10 in a company. Losing jobs in this way affects your personality really bad and it was a massive stress for me.
After I lost my second job I followed a training program in Korean ANMA massaging therapy. The training program was organized by The New Light Welfare Center. The duration of the training program was 3 months and a leading vision impaired Korean ANMA massage therapist Mr. Lee was our teacher. As I completed my training program I was selected among the best students in the program and got further training for another 2 months. The director of The New Light Welfare Center was planning to open a new therapy center, to provide job opportunities for vision impaired masseurs. I was preparing myself to work in that massage center.
At that time I received a call from a gentleman who was working as a bio medical engineer in leading bio medical equipments suppliers and maintaining company. He has read my articles I posted in my blog and he told me “I would like to offer you a job as a bio medical support technician. You should work as a support technician under my supervision”.   I was surprised with this offer and I told him “sorry I’m a vision impaired person. How can I repair bio medical equipments, connecting machines and calibrating machines?” he replied “You can try working with me and do the maximum you can”. The new therapy center was planned to open in mid of March 2016, I got this offer in January. So I thought I can work for a month as a bio medical support technician until the new therapy center opens.
I learned a lot while I was working there for a month. Managing a person with disability at working place is a rare skill for an employer. I saw that quality in all the workers in the company. It’s amazing how encouraging they were, my boss always used to say “Believe in God, He can do miracles” and he told others to support me at work. I had my own tool set. I had a portable video magnifier, a torch, a normal magnifier and my screen reading software installed to the laptop. My boss used to take my opinion in IT related issues in the company. I felt that I’m an important employee in the company. I supported in repairing bio medical equipments, preparing documents, managing maintenance reports, handing over repaired machines to hospitals and managing IT related tasks in the company.

Working as a bio medical technician, sounds impossible for a vision impaired person. But with proper guidance and necessary tools people with disabilities can be employed in jobs. Empathy is the most important skill a manager should have to manage a person with disability at work.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Masters Swimming Championship 2016 Rainbow Union

Masters swimming championship 2016

The Masters Swimming Championship 2016 was organized by the Rainbow Aquatic sports union. The Masters meet featured swimmers from all the leading aquatic sports unions in Sri Lanka as well as the Tri – Forces. The meet also featured foreign swimmers as well.
Swimmers were categorized under age groups 21-24, 25-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80-89. I swam under 30-39 age category. My events were 50m Breast stroke, 50m Free Style and 100m Breast stroke. I got a Gold medal for 50m Free Style event. We had 3 vision impaired swimmers in our team. Shashi Madusanka got 2 Gold medals and Asanthi got a bronze medel for their events. It was a great experience for us to compete with non disabled top swimmers in Sri Lanka and India.

It was nice to see swimming legend Mr. Julian Bolling swim under the age category 50-59 and he won all his events.

A big thank you should go to Penuka and Ramesh our swimming coaches for preparing us for this event.