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TEAM 8863

Anatolian Deaf Eternals

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ANATOLIAN DEAF ETERNALS

Problem: In general, the inclusion of disabled individuals, specifically those who are deaf, into society, and their ability to reach a certain position within society require the identification and resolution of the difficulties they face in all areas, including education. Deaf individuals struggle to engage in social interaction in society due to language and communication barriers. They often find themselves in challenging situations in their daily lives due to the language and communication barriers they face. These situations further limit their participation in societal spaces. Deaf individuals may encounter various problems such as adaptation issues in society, insufficient language and educational opportunities, leading to facing prejudiced attitudes within society. As progress is experienced in every aspect of life, including education, people's perspectives on life and the world change. It is known that whether this change occurs positively or negatively is directly proportional to the quality of education. Considering that contemporary progress is thought to develop alongside education, reducing the problems experienced in the field of education to a minimum will occur through societal awareness. We believe in the power of STEM education to minimize these issues and increase motivation.

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Solution: It has been determined that while hearing-impaired students do not face significant issues in understanding each other's language development, they do encounter challenges in expressing their problems in social environments, leading others to perceive them differently and treat them differently as a result. Discrimination against deaf individuals is also a significant issue that needs to be addressed. It is necessary for society to move away from pity towards hearing-impaired individuals and to involve them more frequently in social activities. Maintaining the societal perspective unchanged and the limited presence of technological initiatives for individuals with hearing problems impose limitations on identifying and resolving the issues faced by hearing-impaired individuals. Individuals involved in scientific and technological initiatives should encourage obtaining education in their country's sign language and provide training to relevant individuals to actively participate in scientific and technological initiatives.

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As Team 3390, we have taken sign language training from Mr. Bülent Tekin, the President of the Turkish Deaf Federation, with all our team members to speak the language of our deaf friends, understand them in the best way possible, and create an accessible language. The exclusion of hearing-impaired individuals from technological and scientific subjects also significantly affects their sensory and social skills. Another issue we have identified is the lack of materials. Our team has determined that hearing-impaired students require visuals due to their better understanding of concrete concepts, and that the visual and technological materials are inadequate, posing a significant problem for them. We have decided not to allow hearing-impaired individuals to succumb to societal pressures and to make a difference. We have helped hearing-impaired youth break prejudices and discover their own abilities. We have encouraged hearing-impaired individuals, who are often excluded from scientific and technological activities, to be part of the FIRST ecosystem. They have shown determination and willingness to overcome their hearing problems and achieve their goals through STEM, showcasing their talents, resilience, and most importantly, their belief and desire to succeed.

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Impact: The FIRST ecosystem has contributed to the development of confidence among deaf individuals by creating accessibility awareness, allowing them to believe that they can work in their desired professions. Through our establishment of the Anatolian Deaf Eternals team, deaf youth have been included in the STEM ecosystem. As a result, our deaf friends who previously dreamed of becoming technicians have now turned their focus to engineering fields. Emphasizing the value of teamwork, the team has strengthened the spirit of collaboration and cooperation. It has helped participants improve their social skills by increasing their social interactions. It has provided opportunities for them to discover and enhance their talents in specific areas. It has supported the development of perseverance, determination, and strategic skills, empowering participants to feel stronger and more courageous. While exploring the world of FRC, one of the greatest goals of deaf youth is to inspire hope for other individuals like them who face communication challenges due to language and are marginalized and viewed differently by society. With their participation, the aim is to help individuals who are deaf and struggle to communicate with people due to their hearing impairment to discover their potentials and strengthen their social integration.

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Deaf individuals not only overcome their own challenges but also serve as inspirations to other deaf individuals. Burak Uyanık, the mentor of our team, 8863 Anatolian Deaf Eternals, has become an inspiration to all deaf individuals as the first deaf person to complete his doctorate in Turkey. The book titled "-2'den Başlayan Hayat" written by our valuable team member, Gizem Uyanık, narrates the life of deaf individuals. With her belief in herself, she continues to overcome all obstacles and becomes a beacon of hope for other deaf friends. Our team won the Judges Award at the 2022 FRC Istanbul Regional, which motivated them to create new roadmaps for individuals, families, schools, communities, and sponsors with high motivation. This valuable award provided our robot team consisting of deaf individuals with the opportunity to view the future from a different perspective through strong teamwork and creativity. The recognition and achievements, such as the Judges Award and the Team Spirit Award, are a great honor and source of pride for us. These awards serve as reminders of the unity and strength of our Anatolian Deaf Eternals team, emphasizing that success comes not only from individual talents but also from team solidarity. Furthermore, winning the Team Spirit Award at the 2023 FRC Istanbul Regional reflects the positive energy, collaboration skills, and ability to work together of our deaf team, highlighting the importance of team spirit. Overall, being recognized with awards like the Judges Award and the Team Spirit Award is a great honor and source of pride for us, serving as reminders of the power of unity and emphasizing that success stems not only from individual talents but also from team solidarity.

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