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The rehabilitation and integration into society of the visually handicapped is the collective responsibility of the State, the Private Sector, concerned Civil Society groups and labour unions. Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is a widely accepted concept internationally. Promoting the values of CBR remains the basic objective of the Federation. Society as a whole has a major role to play in the attainment of these objectives. Let us march forward and progress hand in hand toward this noble goal.

A Statement by Mr. E.M. Navaratne Banda, President of the Federation, issued on the International White Cane Day :

The significance of the White Cane Day 15th October, must be utilised as a catalyst to highlight the needs and aspirations of the visually handicapped community. Whilst there has been some measure of progress in the right direction, much more remains to be achieved, such as –

  1. Changing the attitudes of society, or at least major sections of it towards accepting visually handicapped persons on par
  2. Expeditious implementation of the Cabinet decision to reserve 3% of jobs in the State sector for persons with disabilities; and similarly, to secure private sector co-operation in this regard
  3. Following up the recommendations made in the Agenda for Action of ESCAP Decade of Persons with Disabilities (1993- which has been extended upto 2012)
  4. Provision of Braille educational facilities for all children and adults who desire to be educated
  5. Provision of adequate housing, sanitation and clean water
  6. Assistance to establish and economically operate self-employment projects
  7. The Adequate availability of special tools & appliances for the blind
  8. Improving & expanding the facilities of the Sarana Home

It would be appropriate in the present context to add our voice to the call for lasting peace and reconciliation in our motherland. War and violence, in addition to other devastating effects on our country will certainly add to the number of disabled persons in the community.

We earnestly solicit the invaluable assistance of the print and electronic media in creating public awareness regarding the needs of the visually handicapped and are confident that such help shall be readily forthcoming.

Similarly, we need utmost co-operation from concerned authorities, civil society organisations (NGOs), the private sector and the community at large to improve the lot of the visually handicapped community.

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Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped

No 74 Church Street,
Colombo 02,
Sri Lanka.

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