The Cabinet has approved draft legislation on Bulgarian Sign Language and is to table it in the National Assembly for approval, a government media statement on September 23 said.
The statement said that representatives of hearing-impaired people and various institutions had taken part in drafting the legislation.
The bill envisages providing a free translation service for up to 120 hours a year for people who are hearing-impaired and people who are hearing-impaired and sight-impaired.
For pupils in schools who are hearing-impaired or hearing-impaired and sight-impaired, a special subject “Bulgarian Sign Language” will be introduced, and in kindergartens, a special educational field, Bulgarian Sign Language.
Undergraduate and PhD students who are hearing-impaired or hearing-impaired and sight-impaired will be entitled to up to 60 hours of additional translation services per semester.
Municipalities in Bulgaria will be given up to two years to make available administrative services that cater for people who are hearing-impaired or hearing-impaired and sight-impaired. Emergency medical care also must cater for people who are hearing-impaired or hearing-impaired and sight-impaired.
Television news and current affairs programmes will be obliged to provide sign language interpretation, according to the draft bill.
(Screenshot: A news bulletin on public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television, September 2020)
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