Niluka Gunawardena

Bio

Niluka Gunawardena

Board Member at Women Enabled International

Niluka Gunawardena is an educator and researcher based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Niluka’s understanding of disability is informed by her experience of multiple marginalities and intersectionality.

Niluka earned a Master of Arts degree in Disability and Gender (with Distinction) from the University of Leeds, and she teaches Disability Studies at the University of Kelaniya. She has taught at Griffith University and the National Institute of Social Development in the past. She is a consultant to the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development project conducted by the University of Colombo which is aimed at creating an accessible and equal learning environment for all students. She has been on the teaching team of the Disability Sexuality and Rights Online Institute and served on the Disability track organization team for Reconference 2019 hosted by CREA. She has taught Geography and Earth Science to secondary school students for several years and is currently working on introducing Mindfulness to school children and educators in conjunction with the Open University of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Education.

Niluka regularly conducts community training workshops on Disability Rights using the CRPD-SDGs framework for a multitude of NGOs and DPOs. She also influences disability inclusive corporate policy by leading disability rights awareness sessions for corporations in Sri Lanka. She represented her country and constituencies at the CRPD Conference of State Parties in 2019.
Niluka is a researcher who has worked on evidence-based policy for organizations like the Human Environment Research Observatory, Equal Ground and BBC. She is a co-founder of The Spectrum, a peer support group for individuals with psychosocial disabilities and Union of Abilities, a peer group for youth with physical disabilities in Sri Lanka.

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