A Picnic to Jaffna Peninsula

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I was among the 30 Army inmates under rehabilitation at the Army – managed wellness resorts that were flown to Jaffna recently on a picnic. Those gravely injured War veterans who are now receiving life-time care at Abhimansala I,II, III, … Continue reading

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My Speech at “Raanaviru meet up” held at Ranaviru Sevana

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I’ve recently got an invitation to deliver a speech in Ranaviru Sevana –Ragama. The topic of that speech was how I felt about Ranaviru Sevana as a totally blind person and how helpful that place was for me to overcome … Continue reading

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What would you say if you happen to meet me?

Every so often, I happen to meet up visitors at Abimansala. In some instances, some of them make interesting justification on my blindness. Without a doubt, I should say they express their feelings from their heart thinking that I am … Continue reading

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Home Gardenning by a Blind man

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It took me a while to find out something interesting to make an entry to the blog. This is by no mean a big thing; nevertheless it is a yet another activity that gives me a pleasure and satisfaction. At … Continue reading

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I took my family to Ridi Vihara and Tallest Samadhi Buddha Statue in Sri Lanka

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By the time I was thinking of what to write on the blog the Vesak poya day was dawn. My wife and I had a brief chat on what to do on that day as this time it had dawn … Continue reading

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How I Taught Myself to Use a Touch-Screen Phone

I’d been using voice enabled old button phones just over a decade and   undoubtedly those phones have   helped me overcome the disability to a greater extent   . In one of my previous   posting, I had written   how blind person use … Continue reading

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Day Outing in Kandy by Abimansala 3

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I just thought of writing on my recent day outing to Kandy and it was apparently the first   outing organized by Abimansala 3. It is little over 10 months since Abimansala 3 came into effect and glad it is now … Continue reading

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Little daughter Yenuli goes to nursery.

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I can’t believe that already a month has gone by since my daughter started going to nursery and I am so glad that she enjoys it much. She has now learnt few nursery rhymes and interesting life skills which she … Continue reading

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Outing at Elephant Orphanage – Pinnawala

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My daughter who is now 3 and half years old is very fond of elephants though she had not seen them much in close proximity except once at Kandy when she was very young. Her fondness may be due to … Continue reading

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Why and How I came to own a house

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It is exactly a month since we moved into our new house and started living on our own. Obviously, it is a new and exciting experience to both me and Darshi as we have never lived in a house of … Continue reading

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The change that I expected has now been materialized

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If you have a goal in your life, it is very easy to plan and put into practice. I being a person who always does thing with a plan have succeeded my life to a greater extent. I feel it … Continue reading

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Receiving Colours at Sinha Regiment colours night

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It is in deed a pleasure to receive regimental colours once again at Sinha regiment colours night 2013 and it was held at Sinha regiment headquarters – Ambepussa on 21st March 2014. Retired Major General H Hapuarachi graced the occasion … Continue reading

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There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t … Continue reading

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What I want is a change.

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Before long, there will be a complete change in my lifestyle as I am going to move in to a new place. That is Abimansala-3 which is now under construction at Ibbagamuwa. It is the 3rd phase of army wellness resorts … Continue reading

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A Unique hotel- forest Rock Garden- Anuradhapura

Last Saturday (8th) morning Major Suranga, one of my dearest friends informed me that the Abimansala team and he were going to visit a unique hotel in Anuradhapura and if I wished I could join them. That suggestion instantaneously made me … Continue reading

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Happy Louis Braille day

As we know the 4th Jan. 2014 is 205th birth day of mr. Louis Braille, I wish you all the people who is using, teaching and trying to learn braille “happy Louis Braille day”. The place that had been given … Continue reading

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Visit to Mannar Island and around

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A few days ago I have got an opportunity to visit Mannar Island & its surrounding. The journey was organized by the Abimansala-Anuradhapura with the view of entertaining its residential war heroes as a part of their rehabilitation program. The … Continue reading

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දෙනෙත් අහිමි වූ මා ගැන දෙනෙත් අහිමිවූ තවත් හමුදා නිළදාරියෙකු ලියූ කවියක්

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රට දැය දිනා කෙළිබිම විස්කම් පාලා ලෝකය අතට ගෙන ජාලේ සැරිසරලා දිරිදෙයි අප හටත් නිති හසරැල් පාලා මේජර් යාපා ඇත අප ලොව රජ වීලා ඊයේ උදෑසන මෙම අපූර්ව කවිය කෙටි පනිවිඩයක් මගින් න්මට ලැබිණි. එම කවියේ පදවැල් ගොතා තිබුනේ මා … Continue reading

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Story of a brave man Major Dushyantha Yapa by Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

Following article was published in “The Island” newspaper   on 12th October 2008 and it was written by Sujeeva Nivunhella.    The writer interviewed me during my last visit to London in year 2008. Having published this article he introduced me to Mr. … Continue reading

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One person’s music is another person’s noise.

In this article I am trying to prove the fact that sounds that are soothing for some are irritating to another and to what extent it affects blind life. As we all know, Sound waves play a significant role in … Continue reading

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Japanese 5 S methodology and blindness…

Doramadalawa is one of the TV programmes that I’ve regularly been listening to over the years. It is telecast by ITN on Monday evenings. One of those programmes recently telecast was on “orderliness”. Having listened to it, I felt that I … Continue reading

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Meeting the commander of the Army Lt. Gen. Daya Rathnayaka at Abimansala-Anuradhapura

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Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army, minutes after religious observances at Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya to coincide with the 64th Army Anniversary and Army Day (Oct 10), paid a visit to the ‘Abimansala – I’ (wellness resort) … Continue reading

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Why should I keep myself fit…..

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By the time I was injured at age 24 I had a very active & healthy lifestyle. I was then very slim and had no health issues at all. Obviously 20s are the most agile and exuberant time of any … Continue reading

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Dominoes- A game that blind and sighted enjoys on equal grounds

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Due to the nature of my disability, I’ve often been deprived from enjoying most of the games that I used to play when I was sited. In that back drop, I’ve usually been looking for newer or adaptive games that … Continue reading

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My longest Train journey on visiting 2nd Abimansala at Kamburupitiya

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About few months back, I was asked to conduct a training program for blind soldiers in Abimansala- Kamburupitiya by its commandant Lt. Col Kumar Wannasingha. His call instinctively made me happy as I had never been to that place before. … Continue reading

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Visiting a Zoo at Gajaba Regiment-Saliyapura -Anuradhapura

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By the time I was looking for a new place to take my wife and daughter during their last visit to Abimansala, I’ve got an exciting clue from our commandant. That was to visit a zoo managed by Gajaba Regiment … Continue reading

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Eliminating Disability Digital Divide- Research paper by Mrs. Nirosha, Dr. Ruwan and Dushyantha

I’ve recently got an opportunity to attend a research symposium organized by KDU Rathmalana. I was invited to it by a friend of mine Mrs. Nirosha Wedisingha, a lecturer in KDU who presented a research paper at the symposium. The … Continue reading

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A comment on a Sinhalese teledrama named “Sanda” by a visually impaired girl

Having red my previous article “Sighted friends –This is for you”, a friend of mine, Ms. Ruwani De Silva had sent me the following article to express her feelings on few dialogs that were used in a teledrama. The teledrama … Continue reading

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Sighted friends, this is for you… How you should help a blind person.

The Sighted world is always a challenging place for those of us living with sight loss. There are many aspects of everyday life which require us to tackle many obstacles in order to live our lives to their full potential. … Continue reading

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A visit to Girihadu Seya-The first Dagaba in Sri Lanka

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As posson poya is about to dawn in a few days time, I felt that posting an article about an ancient Buddhist site which I recently visited would be appropriate. It was a day outing and was organized by the … Continue reading

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Enjoy movies without looking at a screen- Audio described movies for blind

Due to no or limited eye sight, blind or visually impaired persons have always been deprived from fully enjoying visual events such as a movie, tell drama, documentary, stage drama and sports event. On the other hand one might think … Continue reading

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Devices that help Blind or Visually Impaired person to get around

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It is no doubt that getting around is the most challenging aspect of a newly blinded person, so Mobility and orientation module is included In almost all rehab programs for blinds. Hence I also had received the white cane training … Continue reading

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How do I play Chess

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The playing of chess has become a favorite passion and hobby of many blind persons around the world. For me, it has helped to deal with not only with my blind friends but also with sighted companions on equal grounds. … Continue reading

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How does a blind person tell time?

One second is all it takes to know what time it is. That is, if you can see your watch or clock. On the other hand, if you are blind or have low vision, it would be a very different … Continue reading

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My little daughter Yenuli

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I am posting this article to my little daughter who is still 1 year and 9 months old, knowing the fact that she is still not able to read this or understand any of these. Yet I am certain one … Continue reading

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How I met my wife and got married

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Since most of my previous articles were based on blindness, I just felt that posting something relevant to my personal life would be appropriate to have a bit of variety. This posting is about how I met my wife and … Continue reading

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How do Blind people read Books

Reading is a very important aspect in human life. Some do this as a hobby while others do this as a way to gain knowledge & information. It has always been a problem to a blind or visually impaired person … Continue reading

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How I use a Mobile Phone

For many people, the mobile phone is an essential communication tool, but their complexity and requirement of visual interaction has often made them difficult for blind and partially sighted people to use. Therefore, several screen reader software’s and applications have … Continue reading

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Dushyantha -The fastest Blind Runner in Sri Lanka- Final part

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The National Sportsmeet for the Disabled The same year the National meet was held at the Sugathadasa stadium with the participation of many civil athletes. In the national meet my performance was further improved and I was able to set-up three … Continue reading

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Dushyantha , The Fastest Blind Runner in Sri Lanka- Part 2.

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The long jump When I was schooling, the long jump was my strongest event and since I was doing fairly well in running, we decided to give it a try. First we practice the run-up; it began with 2 steps … Continue reading

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Dushyantha, The Fastest Blind Runner in Sri Lanka– Part 1

  I assume that watching the video posted here before reading the article would be more sensible than watching it later. One day I was invited to a party which was organised to share the joy of the 2002 FESPIC … Continue reading

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How Do Blind People Use Computers?

Click following link to see a video of Dushyantha demonstrating how he uses his laptop.




More often than not, when I’ve been introduced to somebody who visits Abimansala-Anuradhapura, the following chunk of words is often used by the commandant- Lt. Col. Kanishka Bandara. “This is Major Dushyantha Yapa, our special education officer; he is totally blind but uses the computer very well”. Subsequent to that, a query is regularly raised by most of them asking how do I use computer and each time I have to explain it from the beginning too.

Therefore I am posting this article to give basic information about how we as blind people use computers, and how computers can dramatically improve our quality of life as well.

Several companies today market computer programs that allow a blind person to use a standard computer. These computer programs are called “screen readers”. The screen reader that I am now using is “Jaws” it is the most popular screen reader” among blind but I learned the computer basics by using “Hal”. Those are commercial software’s but there are few companies that developed free screen readers such as “Thunder” and “NVDA”. Microsoft Windows operating system itself has a basic built in screen reader it is “Narrator”.

A screen reader is itself a standard Windows computer application, but its job is to run alongside the other programs running on a computer and “tell” the blind person what is on the screen. Because a blind person cannot see what is on the screen, a screen reader typically has a built-in speech synthesiser which, although perhaps sounding a bit like a robot, speaks information to the user through the normal sound speakers of the computer itself.

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Ranaviru Sevana – The Place That Helped me Bringing Light Into Blind Eyes

Following the medical treatment I had from India and also the other treatment from indigenous medicine to religious practices during the period from April 1999 to March 2000, it dawned to me that the possibility of seeing this world yet again through eyes was bare minimum unless a spectacular technological finding immerges or miracle takes place.

When I was at the Army Hospital, a number of officers who had been to Ranaviru Sevana and also several friends who have had some knowledge about blind people inform me on what areas that a blind person could work on, including the information on blind computing given by one of my course officer Lt. Col Bandula Weragama. At the outset none of those ideas conceived in my mind as I had always thought of restoring my eye sight through whatever possible means. Some time later I realised that staying in the Army Hospital for a life time was not a viable option so I had to make a decision whether to go to Ranaviru Sevana or to the regiment at Ambepussa. I had a discussion with the medical officer of Ward 9 regarding that and we decided to take the final decision after meeting the Director – Rehabilitation of the SL Army. Then the director was Brigadier (Dr) Sriyani Warusawitharana.

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The most difficult passage of my life – at hospital

Even for me, it is hard to believe that 15 years have gone by since my injury and surprisingly I haven’t felt it as that long as since it’s been filled with lots of excitement.
By looking at me now, I am sure that nobody would think that I have had such a tormenting passage of life and that this was undoubtedly the most difficult period of my life.
I’ve heard that our mind tends to forget the memories of dreadful events by itself in order to prevent the mental trauma. So I believe it had been applied to me as well, due to the fact that I could only recollect a handful of details about the first few months of the hospitalized life.
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My final battle as an infantry officer and last memories of the sighted life.

I was then a 2nd lieutenant and was the acting OC(officer commanding) of the Bravo (B) Company. It was quite an enjoyable and exciting passage of my life although I had to face lots of hardships due to inclement weather, training and particularly the pressure given to us by seniors. During that time, on a regular basis, LTTE and our troops carried out many attacks causing heavy damages to each other, but the consequences did not generate much terror within me. It is mainly due to the fact that I was very young, was a bachelor, hadn’t realized the value of my own life and also more or less I did enjoy the battle and military life too. The operations that were carried out during that time were not continuous. So we had enough brakes to train and relax. Whenever possible we used to play cricket, the game which I loved dearly.

In September 1998 we were told to be prepared for a major battle to liberate the town of Mankulam which was under LTTE clutches for many years. By then my unit the 6th Singha regiment was stationed at the eastern bank of Kanakarayankulam aru that is about 10 km south of Mankulam

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Abimansala -Anuradhapura, The Army Wellness resort for War heroes

In the third quarter of year 2012 I was able to step in to another important chapter of my life, it is to work in Abimansala � Anuradhapura as its Special Education officer.
The Abimansala has been built in close proximity to “Nuwara wewa” adding an added glory to the sacred city of Anuradhapura. This centre was built with the motive of providing lifelong care and shelter to totally dependent war heroes who happen to be disabled while on duty to safeguard our motherland from Tamil terrorism.
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Dushyantha – The Blind Archer

It is no doubt a hard thing to believe when one says a blind person does Archery; it is because whenever I tell someone that I do archery, their spontaneous response is “Can you see now ?”?, subsequently my usual and obvious answer is “No not at all but there is a way to do it and I’ll explain how it’s done”.

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First step to overcome the disability

There was a saying that Life challenges are not there to paralyze you but to discover who you are. Looking back in my life I got to say it is absolutely a true statement as when I was injured and became blind at the age of 24 I was not able to do most of the things that I do now and have never dreamed of either. Continue reading

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My first posting to wordpress

It seems that one of my New Year resolutions is going to be materialized as I have got myself registered in to wordpress to start my own blog.
I remember about a year ago one of my friends Mr. Nandasiri Wanninayaka asked me to start a blog and said that he would support me on its technical aspect. Continue reading

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