Following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement of the year 2020 as the "Year of Accessibility", efforts to facilitate awareness of the disabled and their access to information gained momentum. The most important of these is increasing the services provided for the hearing impaired. In 2020, sign language applications were especially popularized.
All the news of the Ministry on the "Accessible Family and Work" Account Made Accessible for Persons with Disabilities
Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services, announced that on June 7, the Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services had opened a twitter account with the name of "Accessible Family and Work" and that all the news of the ministry was given in sign language and vocalization for the hearing impaired and visually impaired people.
Action Taken to Increase the Number of Turkish Sign Language Translators
Underlining the importance given to Turkish Sign Language Interpreters, Selçuk; He noted that they employ 56 Turkish Sign Language Translators within the Ministry, and that they will increase this number with new recruitments after an examination.
In 2020, activities for Turkish Sign Language Translators were accelerated. Pilot application of Turkish Sign Language Translators Job Tracking Module started. The first TİDYES (Turkish Sign Language Proficiency) within the body of Ankara University TÖMER for determining the language competencies of Turkish Sign Language (TID) translator candidates to be assigned to the Call Center, which is still working to serve 7/24 hearing-impaired citizens. Exam) was held on 14-16 November 2020.
On the last day of the year, a cooperation protocol on "Turkish Sign Language" studies was signed between the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services and Ankara University. Minister Selçuk said, “Our main goal with this protocol is to develop terminology in different fields such as health, law and education by working on Turkish Sign Language. At the same time, we will organize various activities that will provide qualified human resources in this field and contribute to social awareness. said.
Sign Language Translation Service Will Be Provided Through Communication Centers
Minister Selçuk stated that “Regulation on Procedures and Principles for the Development and Dissemination of Turkish Sign Language Applications” with the participation of representatives of non-governmental organizations working in the field, public institutions and organizations and universities, said the personnel who know Turkish Sign Language in Call Lines Alo 183, Alo 144 and Alo 170 He reminded that video service was provided to our hearing impaired citizens.
Referring to the problems faced by the hearing impaired with access to information, basic services and products, Minister Selçuk stated that the work has begun to provide sign language translation services with call centers within our Ministry within the scope of solving problems and accelerating their access.
Minister Selçuk also noted that they continue to work on the access of the hearing impaired to the services offered by public institutions and organizations via e-Government.
"Coronavirus Information Guide" was Prepared for Hearing Impaired Individuals
The “Coronavirus Information Guide” was prepared for hearing-impaired individuals and their families, and the guide was made available both in video format containing Turkish Sign Language translation and in PDF format. At the same time, access to the Ministry of Health "Coronavirus public service ads" and "Health information" videos in sign language during the pandemic process was provided.
EBA TV Course Contents Converted into Sign Language
While distance education continued during the pandemic period, EBA TV also featured content for the disabled. "Basic Turkish Sign Language" Course contents were prepared, video recordings were made and broadcast on EBA TV within the scope of the Week for the Disabled. At the same time, the awareness study, in which the hearing impaired students who continue their mainstreaming education in their cities, talk about the problems they experience in lessons and at school, took place on EBA TV. The contents of the EBA TV courses organized by the Ministry of National Education (MEB) were also translated into sign language.
Steps were also taken to facilitate the access of people with disabilities to religious information; The hadiths themed 'family' were translated into Turkish Sign Language and made available. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been translated into Turkish Sign Language. Turkish Sign Language translation studies of the Disability Rights Convention have also started.
Important events were also held; On 22.05.2020, 'NGO-Academician Meeting' was held for the first time with NGO representatives and academicians working in the field for the Hearing Impaired. On September 23, 2020, on the International Sign Languages day, an online panel titled "The Past, Present and Future of Turkish Sign Language" was held. A cooperation protocol on “Turkish Sign Language Studies” was also drawn up between Ankara University Rectorate and the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services General Directorate of Disabled and Elderly Services.
Within the scope of 81 provinces, hearing impaired individuals; The "TID Barrier-Free Access Center Project", which can meet the 7/24 communication needs, is also ongoing. With this project, it is ensured that disabled people can reach sign language translators continuously and have unimpeded access to all media.