Central Council of Disabled Persons is situated in Kinigama in Bandarawela district. This was established in the year 1983 as a non-profit making charity organisation to help the disabled or differently abled to make a living for themselves; the main goal of CCODP is to help the less privileged sections of society. CCODP wants to help the disabled people to reintegrate into society by giving them opportunities to develop their skills and utilise such skills to seek means of employment for themselves so that they are able to support themselves without depending on others.
The objectives of CCODP are manifold – organising people with disabilities into groups for their overall development, introduce Community Based Rehabilitation Programmes for rural development through regional organisations and to make training facilities available for implementers of this programme so that they are able to render better service to the community. The people who are formed into groups are trained in appropriate vocations depending on their skill-levels to create avenues of employment.
The income to run CCODP is generated through one of its programmes called Enterprises Development Programme (EDP) along with a lot of donations from philanthropic organisations. The products that are made under the EDP by the organisation are wheel-chairs, timber furniture and handicrafts. Trainees under this programme are offered loans to set up their own units once they complete their course.
Social Development Programme is another programme run by the organisation and the main aim of this is to reintegrate disabled people into the community while improving community awareness about disabilities and encouraging acceptance. Another programme run as part of the Community Based Rehabilitation Programme in rural areas pertains to women, where a support network is provided for them to teach the disabled women to take control of their lives and identify their skills. Women who display certain special competent abilities are recommended for special loans for self-employment.
Some of the other programmes run by the CCODP are Research and Development programmes concerning disabilities in Sri Lanka, causes and background and effectiveness of existing rehabilitation programmes. Environmental Programmes are also run by the organisation in association with foreign funding agencies in selected areas of the country. “In the Classroom” is a programme where the disabled are helped by CCODP in mastering computers with the aid of a number of Computer Learning Centres. Some of the newer programmes that have been recently introduced are Micro-Finance Lending Programme for Women, Housing Scheme for Rural Disabled and Formation of Provincial Level Forum. The special schemes available at CCODP for artisans are housing loans, free training in chosen craft and pension.
Geographically the organisation covers the entire island-country in its activities. It has participated in Expo 96 an exhibition which was conducted by the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka. It also brings out an annual magazine.
The key person to be contacted at CCODP is Mr. R.S. Marasingha; the organisation has 11 permanent staff on its rolls along with 4 temporary staff.