Social Income based on Disability in Bulgaria

Every day in a very small country situated in Eastern Europe, many deaf people including with various disabilities face social disparity with discriminatory form within governmental level for social income while are unemployed. The country in which I will talk here is Bulgaria. The story of this particular issue applies to my personal life with my deafness including my friend with his deafness and usher syndrome. In receiving social income from the government while unemployed, many deaf people including with their various disabilities often get rejected for only one reason. The reason is that they are raised to speak truly fluently on all level even they do not hear well or at all in which the government does not recognize them fully to be part of the disability group due to having hearing aids, eye glasses/lenses and assistive devices in regard of their type of disability. Showing all the paperwork for applying in getting social income and the necessary services for people with disabilities for better lifestyle with the governmental help, government continues do not recognize them to be part of the group of people with disability as they only judge the performance of each individual candidate in how well they do in the equivalence of one hearing person. This kind of discriminatory form being projected within the governmental level most definitely impacts the people of disabilities especially the deafness, deaf-disabled and those who are blind/slightly blind. It is in a big time to impact and bring a huge blow toward them while the UN CRPD states that States meaning the governments shall reaffirm that all persons with disabilities have the right to a full recognition everywhere as persons before the law.

Speech oralism is powerful tool that deaf schools often provide in teaching deaf children to learn speaking fluently without a frustration to have while no sign language is being taught to them at all. It was highly believed at deaf high school that speech oralism will be best served for all deaf people including with the various disability an equal access with the hearing people. The main issue is pity overseen medically to interpret that people who are deaf are incapable to integrate equally within the social sphere without speech oralism. Being disabled with deafness is viewed as a disease with a deep pity. In all years of deaf people’s life including with their various disabilities have undergone with intensive speech therapy from very early age in which it gives them having a deep hardship inflicting psychological pressures to speak fluently. Having no exposure of sign language at deaf high school due to that all teachers/parents did not believe sign language will be a good help to integrate them equally in the society altogether with the hearing people. In all times, deaf students including with their various disabilities have to do the double work to learn in lip-reading and in speaking fluently on equal basis even they do not hear at all or hear well while using hearing aid/cochlear implants. My story including my friend’s story fit in this circumstance. My deafness as well as my friend’s deafness including with his usher syndrome been living within us all of our life since the birth despite of that we wear hearing aids everyday in order to hear better and to see better. Having hearing aid to wear on daily basis for communication access, it is still considered for us to be deaf as it is the true identity we have since birth. The reason of having considered us to be deaf as its own identity is thus to represent in fact that the hearing aids do not always help us to navigate well with the hearing people in quiet/noise area even via the phone. We will always be deaf as well as with his usher syndrome in which for both cases do not offer any improvement medically to be viewed. Hardship we did produce in having a perfect speech in speaking fluently and to lip read really well as a hearing person thus does not make us for not being considered as part of people with disabilities within the governmental level even among the society. Even though with the hearing aids, we keep to miss out the spoken communication with hearing people and we are not accessible at all in understanding the radios including the TV without captioning being provided. It applies to people with cochlear implants however all have different level of responses to hear the speech, the noises and the level of understanding fluently without frustration the spoken communication with hearing people. So for the overall point, we are most definitely to be part of the people with disabilities and the government in Bulgaria needs to recognize that with total awareness.

Many countries based on international law even with their local law for disability rights have recognized the deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and deaf-disabled people to be part of people with disabilities and most certainly receive social income equally from the government while are unemployed. The countries that apply in this model are the US, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and many more. Why Bulgaria does not follow their example? Is it fair for all of us that Bulgarian government call us for not enough disabled due to that we as deaf people speak and lip-read fluently while we do not hear well or at all? I say the answer “NO”.  The rejection to receive when facing the discriminatory form within the governmental level toward deaf people including with their kind of disability can speak well and lip-read fluently while are considered to be part of disability group does not represent to have equality a with true diversity at all. An awareness, a better legal interpretation/a law to represent in recognizing the individual candidate with their own disability for social and legal protection within the governmental level and educational understanding for recognizing individually the kind of disability as whole without a judgement being used are the main keys we all shall implement in bringing the advocacy work.  The advocacy work shall bring all voices of people who have experienced/faced such discriminatory form for not providing the social norm of safeguarding them within governmental level to have the right in receiving social income while are unemployed.

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