In cooperation with Ankara Chamber of Industry, Hacettepe University and Türk Traktör, the opening meeting of the “One Sign Is Enough” project, which will develop technical sign language and digital learning contents for hearing-impaired employees working in the metal industry, was held in ASO.
ASO President Nurettin Özdebir, Türk Traktör General Manager Aykut Özüner, Project Coordinator Hacettepe University Faculty Member Assoc. Dr. Şener Karabulut, representatives of many local and foreign organizations participating in the project, as well as many academicians and hearing-impaired citizens attended.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, ASO President Nurettin Özdebir said, “Disability is a social phenomenon not only in developing countries like ours, but also in underdeveloped and developed countries. Today, it is estimated that more than 1 billion people or approximately 15 percent of the world population live with some kind of disability. According to official figures the number of disabled is not found in Turkey is estimated that 9 million. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 386 million disabled people of working age worldwide and states that the unemployment rate among disabled people is 80 percent in some countries. In Turkey, 22 percent of the labor force participation rate for people with disabilities, the employment rate is estimated to be 20 percent level. Referring to the situation of the disabled in the labor market as well, both in general and in the labor force participation rate in Turkey and the world seems to be at very low levels of employment. Therefore, one of the most important problems for disabled individuals, who constitute a significant portion of the population, to participate equally with other citizens is the problem of employment. Increasing the participation of disabled people in working life and employment opportunities is one of the most important measures in order for them to have a place worthy of human dignity in social life without burdening the society. “Working is not only an income-generating occupation, it is also a tool that helps people develop their personalities and reinforce their sense of self-confidence.”
Stating that the disabled individuals can participate fully and effectively in social life and attain a living level worthy of human dignity can only be achieved by taking part in working life, Özdebir said:
“It has been scientifically proven that disabled people can be as successful in their jobs if they are given the opportunities provided to healthy individuals. Therefore, our state has important duties here. Our state is trying to operate the quota system first to increase the employment of disabled people. With the current legislation, our state obliges the employment of 3 percent disabled people in enterprises with more than 50 employees. In enterprises with less than 50 employees, the state assumes the insurance employer share and encourages employing disabled people. Of course, the state has many other duties to do. It is possible to list many things from the infrastructure necessary for the disabled to be in both social life and working life, to flexible working models designed for them. But since these issues have been voiced for years, I do not want to repeat them once again. We will also increase the qualifications of our disabled people with the project of developing technical sign language for the hearing impaired people working in the metal sector and to be employed, which we briefly try to realize with the slogan “One sign is enough”. With the development of this language, our disabled people will be more successful and productive in their work, which will lead them to add more value to both the business and themselves. ”
Aykut Özüner, General Manager of Türk Traktör AŞ, stated that although many companies employ disabled people, these people are not used much except in certain areas. “Our aim with this project is to create equal opportunities for disabled employees.” Özüner gave the following information:
“With this project, it is aimed to create the signs and new key words that people with disabilities need to express themselves in business life as well as in daily life. First of all, people with disabilities will be supported to express themselves in the best possible way, and then the sign language of about 100 machine parts will be created to increase their technical knowledge. ”
Emphasizing that this is a project that touches life, Özüner said, “Thanks to the project, the hearing impairment will not be an obstacle to professional development.” he spoke.
Project Coordinator Hacettepe University Faculty Member Assoc. Dr. Şener Karabulut stated that the EU supported the project with 365 thousand Euros and said that the work will continue until July 31, 2022. Karabulut informed the participants about the details of the project.
Hacettepe conducted at the University coordinated the project, Ankara Chamber of Industry, Turkey Metal Industrialists’ Union, Turkey Tractors and Agricultural Machinery Co., Pamukkale University, the Association of Hearing Impaired Educational Activities, Simsis Digital Solutions Informatics Software Engineering and Trading Company, National Technical University of Athens – Ntua is carried out in partnership with Europeiskt Teckenspråkcenter, Bildungswerk Der Bayerischen Wirtschaft Ggmbh, Europa Training (UK) Ltd. In addition, the National Technical University of Athens and some institutions and organizations from Europe are among the partners of the project.
For 100 standard machine elements determined within the scope of the project, English and Turkish augmented reality supported booklet, training curriculum and manual will be prepared. The disabled will be able to use these contents with their mobile phones and mobile devices. Later, these contents will be translated into the languages of the project partner countries.