The Bulgarian government has approved draft legislation on Bulgarian Sign Language and table it in the National Assembly for approval.
The statement said that representatives of people with hearing disabilities 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 deaf or hard of hearing.
For students in schools who are deaf or hard of hearing, a special subject, “Bulgarian Sign Language,” will be introduced and kindergartens.
Undergraduate and Ph.D. students who are deaf 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 to people with hearing disabilities. Emergency medical care also must cater to people who are deaf.
According to the draft bill, television news and current affairs programs will be obliged to provide sign language interpretation.