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Bulgaria officially recognizes sign language

Bulgaria officially recognizes sign language
A law has been passed in Bulgaria which officially recognizes sign language.

Bulgaria’s New Law Officially Recognizes Sign Language

Bulgaria officially recognizes sign language. Its National Assembly approved a law in late January. The bill includes the following for people with hearing loss:
  • Free translation services for up to 120 hours a year
  • Bulgarian sign language taught 
  • Up to 60 hours of additional translation services per semester for undergraduate and Ph.D. students
  • Television news and current affairs programs with sign language interpretation
Additionally, a 13-member Bulgarian Sign Language Council will be set up at the Education Ministry. And by December 31, 2022, “heads of government departments and municipal mayors must enable administrative services” for people with hearing loss, The Sofia Globe reported.
Russian sign language has been taught in Bulgarian schools since 1910. But people in Bulgaria use a sign language that isn’t fully Russian. Over time,  the government was convinced to allow their sign language to be taught in schools.

Positive Effects

These milestones also help the wider deaf and hard of hearing community. As more sign languages are being accepted as languages, doors will continue to open. Connections will increase among people with hearing loss all over the world. Perhaps more deaf/HOH people will know many versions of sign language. 

“These milestones also help the wider deaf and hard of hearing community.”

There are actually around 300 known sign languages used in the world today. Sign languages, like spoken languages, are grouped into different families. These families are based on the language’s point of origin. Many languages, spoken or signed, have a common ancestral language with other languages. For instance, Bulgarian sign language is part of the French sign language family. The old French sign language had an influence on many types of sign language. British Sign Language is in the BANZSL family, or the British, Australian, and New Zealand sign language family. Sign Languages can run independently of the spoken languages in their home country. 
As time progresses, more and more countries will hopefully give the deaf/HOH community agency and accessibility. As a result, we will have a deeper understanding of the our history throughout the centuries.
Congratulations to the people of Bulgaria on this amazing milestone!
Author Details
Hello, my name is Catalleya Storm (they/them). I work to bring awareness to issues impacting the Black, Deaf, disabled and LGBTQ communities. I was born hearing but started losing my hearing in my late teens. I identify as Deaf/HOH, with the understanding that I am apart of both the hearing world and the Deaf world. I believe that we all can bring about positive change in the world, and that’s what I hope to do with the time I have here.