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.

Loophole of Americans with Disability Act within my life

In the 21st Century, deaf people with all kinds of disabilities continue to struggle with hardships to gain and be on equal basis to get all kinds of opportunities for a decent career job. US is well equipped with all kinds of resources to provide via career center in all universities for internships/career jobs in all kinds of fields for all citizens/non-citizens with green card/special work visa no matter the race, religions, sex, culture, disability and age. There are universities to be well equipped to offer all that for deaf people with all kinds of disabilities with total access to American Sign Language interpretation/accommodation setting. Even though the whole country is offered to them the necessary resources for employment opportunities via the Vocational Rehabilitation Centers for people with disabilities. Of course, there are many minuses and pluses we all are facing in this reality even though with the disability rights law proscribed in the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). These minuses and pluses apply as well as for my experiences with the struggle in gaining a prospect with career job position at any NGOs, government agencies, companies and Inter-governmental Organizations- IGOs. Even though these mentioned two acts do not ideally support in promoting and in safeguarding the equality for all between disabled and non-disabled persons with the recognition to have inclusion with true respect. Fighting for this cause along with the ADA/ADAAA, we as part of the deaf community with all kinds of disabilities need to voice with ideas, advocacy strategies, solutions with policy analysis in how we can achieve that total goal as it is being done to show tremendous success with the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD) on the international level.

The loophole of ADA/ADAAA for my personal experiences in seeking employment opportunities made an impact toward my disability which is deafness. Throughout my years after completing my Bachelors and completing in attending the studies for my Masters, I only had a good success in gaining internship opportunities. In reality, internships are more related with learning to gain new skills and build experiences without earning any meaningful financial support for living style. The toughest part for the deaf people with all various disabilities in fact are facing the challenges to compete well in financially to survive and in proving their essential abilities/skills no matter the differences of disabled/non-disabled at the workforce with total success. With internship/voluntary experiences are total plus for the resume to demonstrate even for the cover letter, however an obstacle is presented when it comes for an interview. Many employers often would not know whether the interviewee is disabled or non-disabled to the fact that candidates often do not disclose it due to the fear of getting rejected for an interview. The protection clause for discrimination law as stated in ADA/ADAAA in fact support to promote in preventing all forms of discrimination against people with disabilities including the requirement to provide access to the interpreting services/accommodations. Companies, NGOs, IGOs and governmental agencies although know the mentioned provision for anti-discrimination laws and reasonable accommodations in the ADA/ADAAA do exist however many ignored to respect it in a valuable way. About half of the deaf people including with their disabilities attend the interviews with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters while the rest attend it without being presented with access to ASL interpreting services. Some also have received rejections for not being able to get the reasonable accommodation with the ASL interpretation for a job interview due to insufficient financial support that companies, NGOs, IGOs and governmental agencies were not able to secure or provide for. Most of the times on daily basis I go in searching for job positions that interest me to meeting my true qualifications and by applying with my resume/cover letters, I have received several interviews. The span in searching and receiving interviews plus getting at last a career job took me within 5-7 years. The rejections to receive within these years were a blow toward me. In taking for so long to get the employment opportunity in my life, the ADA/ADAAA with a lawsuit would not in most cases help me to recognize that loss of time. The point is that there are no possibilities to know and to proving with evidence including via witnesses that these companies, NGOs, IGOs and governmental agencies did make discriminatory behaviors in hiring process based on their decision in regard of people’s various disabilities. There are almost no employment cases made with a success for any NGOs, companies, governmental agencies and IGOs do admit officially the discrimination matters due to a reason that many will make up various reasons to explain their hiring decisions.

Yes, we do feel powerless when the struggles and obstacles occurs in our everyday lives. However, we have a powerful voice in which is to bring deep awareness about disability rights related to inclusion, equality and diversity. At all cost can and must demonstrate via social media and transnational activism with the abilities all deaf people to be included with various disabilities in which makes a total contribution with a big plus to the society and have a true benefit for economic profit. The suggestion I have is that the companies such as NGOs, governmental agencies and IGOs shall work together through education with training to learn, to accept, and to understand better with various abilities of people with disabilities while they apply all kinds of job positions in different fields, and via congressional level including via social media and transnational activism to demonstrate in improving the employment law for all people with disabilities. This is to include in having a total equality, inclusion and diversity at the workforce. Lastly, to conclude is to provide a law with total compliance for all workforce in all places that people with disabilities shall and must be included to work in a total diversity with the non-disabled no matter what.

The Backlash of Americans with Disabilities Act

The enactment of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and ADA Amendments Act of 2008 by Congress was tailored for a goal to achieve in total elimination of discrimination for all people with disabilities in the US. A dramatic difference for those of us who live with disabilities has been shown however the barriers regarding of equality and inclusion continue to exist. The Constitutional Law in regard of Equal Protection Clause for people with disabilities is not well served to provide the equality and inclusion for all on one same level within all societies including the Equal Employment Opportunity act of 1972. The only thing we see is the Civil Rights Law 1964 and Rehabilitation Act 1973 and both have been supportive for providing a tremendous success for total accessibility of services for all people with disabilities. In viewing these two for everyday life especially for me at the employment level even for the deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, deaf disabled and deaf with mental disorders continue to face barriers in which prevent to achieve equally the employment goals. It is not to say that all of those mentioned are unemployed however some have found a success in various ways. Competition, challenges and the pure understanding of disability for total ability are main cores we all face with struggles and frustration to overcome. The litigation with claims to be filled for lawsuit in regard of ADA/ADAAA based on employment, health care and educational setting issues continue to be surfaced with little success or with no success. Many in regard of employment for barriers/oppression including with discrimination felt to be stagnant while they are fighting to get in a total recognition of equality, inclusion and diversity among one whole society with their own abilities.

About 17.9% of people with disabilities in generality were employed in the US as stated in year of 2016 by the US Department of Labor. On the brighter side, fewer than 40% of only deaf people with all kinds of disabilities work full time job, accordingly to the analyzes in 2016 provided by Yang-Tang Institute at Cornell University. The picture of these figures showing the differences are appalling. United States of America has everything to offer – a good educational system at universities and lots of opportunities for all type of careers made available for everyone without be based on race, immigration status with green card/special job visa, religion, sex, disability, cultures and age. The ADA/ADAAA sounds to be opportunistic to offer protection for all types of discrimination for all people with disabilities. My questionable mark brings to criticize for the point in how these acts are not able to prevent well the discrimination related with employment issues and the elimination of barriers/oppression for deaf people with all kinds of disabilities at the workforce. The challenges that these two acts pose are in the scope of judicial interpretation to have for the meaning of the term of “disability” to apply for statutory purpose instead of focusing on individual rights/needs and the idea of providing protection against discrimination in which it is intended to be limited due to the facts many companies give lots of excuses with their reasonable purposes in regard of not willing to provide financial claims or be opportunistic in securing for the future to have a total recognition of equality and inclusion. Companies often point to the facts that those with disabilities do not meet their criteria and in that view they do not see to be in discriminatory fact. Accordingly to Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf thus mentions that proving discrimination for a deaf person can be extremely difficult. Many deaf people with various disabilities and hard of hearing people often get interviewed by companies for a job and be provided with access to interpreting services/accommodations, however most won’t consider in hiring these people in regard of their abilities and their educational/professional qualifications. The employment discrimination cases to achieve is very tough due to that companies will always continue to make up many reasons as they can in explaining their hiring decisions.

Laws are there and companies/NGOs/governments will follow as it is in these two acts no matter what. The provision, the language and its own interpretations in a limited version simply direct that no one shall ever discriminate based on all forms of disabilities and must provide reasonable accommodations without any problems. In this loophole to apply for my personal experiences and for those deaf people with all various disabilities facing the struggles to find a decent career job in the long run with hardships. To this point, we always must continue to fight in the hardest way possible even that ADA/ADAAA is not fully effective to support in providing and in recognizing the equality and inclusion at employment sector in the US. Deaf people, deaf-blind, deaf-disabled, deaf with mental disorders and hard of hearing will be always behind with the non-disabled people to achieve tremendously well. Awareness for the rights of deaf individuals with all disabilities are to show and share positive benefits providing for society on economic levels and to bring our recognition on equal basis. These are the main keys we all can do and fight for via social media, via transnational activism, via employment/educational sector and via governmental level. Be the fierce advocate and be in total activism to fight for in improving the ADA/ADAAA. It is the only way we all shall voice to bring on governmental level altogether with congressmen, lawyers, academics and advocates.

ADA vs UN CRPD for the lives of deaf community

Many scholars, lawyers and activists say that American with Disabilities Act of 1990/ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and UN Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities (UN CRPD) have different reflections, interpretations and structures with weaknesses and strengths to be involved. The ADA/ADAAA is applicable only for the US to use for litigations on lawsuits and the UN CRPD is applicable on international level for enforcement to comply for social structures to have on equality, respect, diversity, inclusion with promotion of human rights enshrined in the Universal Declarations of Human Rights. This international document does not involve for litigation to bring lawsuits and the US is not signatory to it with membership. Many recalls in fact that the ADA/ADAAA is not even on the basis to fulfill in removing the barriers and to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities with full equality in one whole society. UN CRPD is able to fulfill on international level the disability human rights paradigm in being recognized with dignity and worth of every person but it lacks the power to enter in the US sphere to comply mutually altogether with the ADA/ADAAA. Looking at these three legal frameworks for the lives of deaf community with the various disabilities in the US, the improvements overseeing the notion regarding the anti-discriminatory laws via litigation process and the compliance for social model with human rights law altogether did not meet the overall achievement. Equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities are lacking among all of us and the value with dignity of every person who is disabled in the US did not represent that recognition. Without the US being the signatory member of UN CRPD and leaving ADA/ADAAA alone with poorly written and structurally flawed legal document is truly shown to have weaknesses in supporting for social coherence with total functional ability to contribute equally toward the society.

ADA/ADAAA and UN CRPD have been expanded throughout the years in 1990s and 2000s calling for an attention that all people with disabilities deserve to have protection from discrimination and get supporting recognition for living fully well integrated equally and inclusively in one whole society. Legally to argue for the ADA/ADAAA, both have come with the support to overlook the protection for the class of people with disabilities regarding the discrimination including the promotion of providing the accommodating services via the Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 but both do not represent promotion of equality and inclusion at all. In that view, the Civil Rights Act 1964 is comprised to provide the protection against the various forms of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity and age while the ADA/ADAAA is being excluded from it in which it does not offer an opening door to make the disability more inclusive and be on equal basis. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is part of civil rights law however it is the first disability rights law in which it entirely focuses on prohibiting the discriminatory form against disabled people in programs receiving federal financial assistance. The ADA is the only document that is to be entirely focused in providing to have narrowly drawn anti-discrimination law only to move a segment of the disabled population from reliance on government benefits toward a full integration of an employment in the labor sector. Getting to have a better framework from ADA to ADAAA, it is to make changes in explicitly to provide the remedies to some of the problems in the original version of that law, particularly with respect to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the definition of disability in series of cases in 1999. In fact, the ADA/ADAAA has made a progress in promoting and protecting the legal rights of persons with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination based on disability including to result in having a greater access to buildings, programs and services available for them. Despite of the ADA/ADAAA’s many accomplishments including the raise of awareness about disability in the US and the opportunity to represent as the only model to other countries and to the UN when it drafted the CRPD, the wall remains to exist. The legal framework of US for disability rights was never intended to ensure in have a true inclusion and full equality for people with disability. In fact, ADA/ADAAA has failed to live up to this purposeful goal, the main issue encountered truly faced to have judicial backlash and poorly defined interpretations of the term “disability” to apply for statutory requirement than to meet the individual’s rights/needs. These two legal frameworks have resulted to represent the limitation for a person with disability when seeking redress in which the potentiality for equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities to have is excluded at that point. Being incorporated with the Civil Rights Act 1964 for aiming to achieving equal treatment for similarly situated individuals however the ADA/ADAAA alone does not provide guidance to support that goal. Various legal scholars and advocates often have argued that equal treatment principle in these two legal frameworks is proven to be ineffective in addressing the actual problems of equality and difference. Probably to the point of having the civil rights approach being incorporated in it might be wrong to choose in doing in which altogether views the problems encountered by people with disabilities. Having to produce claims via litigation process, people often do not get the answers in providing the disability rights solution which is to meet in enforcing to have equality and inclusion toward the society. The truth in all that is that it only provides solution in which it is to help people with disabilities but not to help in approaching to have and be on equal basis in their everyday life.

Accordingly to the UN CRPD, it has broader aspect in which it includes to have more substantive rights such as the right to reasonable accommodation, support and accessibility. It is not to be related to the existing human rights treaties yet they go to the core of how and for whom society with these rights are structured. UN CRPD truly takes the approach of equality to have for full and effective participation and inclusion in society while this part is not truly represented for the ADA/ADAAA. This international disability rights framework is simply to go beyond that model that is to achieve equal results and societal changes are the necessary measures needed to ensure by minimizing economic, societal and cultural oppression. Particularly to hard and soft laws, UN CRPD plays a different kind of role. Consequently, this framework does have limitations to invoke on disability based human rights claims under hard laws while the soft laws are not truly legally enforceable. The implications of adding disability protections to the existing canon of human rights on UN CRPD, it entirely is to represent both for individuals with disabilities as well as for other under protected people. Broadly stated for this framework, it is argued that it reflected to show negative rights for both civil and political rights and positive rights for economic, social and cultural rights in which the disability rights paradigm reaffirm for all that to have human rights protections. By contrast, it does not rely on providing litigation as a way to enforce its mandates and it is not self-executing document that cannot impact solely the state laws or be enforced in court without prior legislative implementation. Differences between these three frameworks are the methods in how they do approach on disability regarding of civil rights and human rights laws. Civil rights and human rights laws in this particularity have different interpretations that idents to support the legality of protection for people with disabilities. Civil rights law for the ADA/ADAAA is to see the specificity related to medical model of who truly has disability and truly shows to meet their defined requirements while human rights law for UN CRPD is to support in providing the definition of disability within the physical and the societal attitudinal barriers that explicitly excluded or stigmatize people with disabilities toward the society. It is to be heavily relied on societal model than on medical model regarding of person’s condition /diagnosis for full inclusion and participation in the society. Accordingly, the rights based laws for ADA/ADAAA that stands for truly devalues for people with disabilities to have independence and autonomous life while for UN CRPD, it values this ideal for a mutual reinforced support.

By seeing the differences here for these three legal frameworks and looking via my loophole to apply for the lives of deaf community with the various kind of disabilities is suggested that having the litigation claim for anti-discrimination laws and use the societal model with protection of human rights law would truly bolster altogether to have a full equality and inclusive participation in the society. Reading the actual ADA/ADAAA and UN CRPD, the legal view point in how disability being defined including the rights truly have impacted me a lot. The applicable approach used in ADA/ADAAA are the words of handicapped and hearing impairment in which both serve to have no good morality to signify the respect in representing the class of people with disabilities. Handicapped and hearing impairment are the words in which the ADA/ADAAA should not use as they should use explicitly on generality the term applicable to interpret the laws only for people with disabilities. The proper use of terms in disability rights as agreed among advocates with various disabilities to have is people with disabilities and deafness. Otherwise, the structurally build law for disability rights in the US is looked to be weak while in life it does not serve to recognize the community of people with disabilities on equal basis with a total inclusion and diversity. Living throughout my life with my disability of deafness, the ADA/ADAAA does not represent for me to see the society to have a total equality to serve via employment process while for UN CRPD it serves to this point. Yes, US is loss at this point and we definitely need to advocate on this matter. Following the example of UN CRPD for the US is a good idea as it can serve to promote and provide expansion to the ADA/ADAAA in a broad way in accepting and in recognizing the legal point by using the social model more often then the medical model. Disability rights for the lives of deaf community including deafblind, deaf-disabled and deaf with mental disorders serve the right to be recognized with full equality, inclusion and diversity in one whole society. My point is that those people with these mentioned disabilities have the kind of ability in making a huge plus and huge additional differences toward the community to contribute. With this in mind is to apply for the ADA/ADAAA in which all people with all kinds of disabilities with the use of legal work to be involved need to educate, to bring awareness and to bring elimination of all barriers and oppression via employment sector, via different programs, via health care sector and via the educational sector. A strong enforcement of law for disability rights is important to exist with guidance to envision and to show that all people with different kind of disabilities have the right to a full entitlement of dignity of life with a door open for many opportunities via employment and academic sector. The exact rights being written legally in a document for disability rights is thus a way to show to people with disabilities that all human beings have and are entitled to such rights no matter what.

The question of racism/prejudice in Deaf community

Time is flying. Civil rights movements have been historically portrayed to show the lives of all US citizens, however the lesson learned is not to attain well today. The issue with racism is still there to exist among all of us. Nobody did not even pay an attention that racism is within the deaf disability. I speak for all kinds of deaf disability – deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, deaf disabled and deaf with mental issues. This specific issue is well seen to occur at Gallaudet University. Many students including alumni ones raise the concern about this matter however it is not getting well responded within the community of all professors and staffs. The racism with prejudice within the deaf disability is referred to the matter of people of color and international students with culture of internationalism. This kind of community always face clashes, discomfort, no support being shared/received, discriminated and left behind to develop well for their future goals academically/professionally based on true mentorship/leadership. Everything at Gallaudet University is related to prejudice, racism and favoritism. With my true experiences, the anonymous person’s experiences who is an alumni student and other students’ experiences are to reflect in raising this concern via advocacy with civil rights/human rights laws and educational understanding of it at all levels.

   Stepping the foot on the property of Gallaudet University and seeing the campus with all professors, staffs and students using American Sign Language, I said to myself – WOW! A deaf university providing all classes with American Sign Language is totally impressive and it made me feel to be included on equal basis in having the access to all classes plus to communicate easily with the sign language without any frustrations to have. My struggle and my frustration is already gone and the life for me became so easy. Diversity with equality and inclusion is something that has impacted me in a big way. Being myself as internationalist with green card at this time and deaf with hearing mind was not easy to go through in all circumstances where prejudice, racism and favoritism play a huge role. All international students come and go. They come to study at this university as it is the only deaf university in the world being well recognized. The support for academic and professional goal is not to endeavor well. Many internationals would truly love to gain the US experiences via internships. Of course, the immigration laws related to visa is an obstacle to international students however there is no law that says it is not allowed for them to earn US experiences from internships and professional work. In all job fairs as well as at the career center was not in a good favor to provide a good moral support with inclusion and equality for the international students even for students with green card in gaining the opportunities to do internships or professional work outside Gallaudet University. My impact was that I have received the word at career center telling me “to figure it our by yourself and that’s your problem”. Receiving this advice, I was truly speechless in how career center did treat me. The welcome appreciation is gone in a big time. Attending the job fairs for different times, I only see governmental agencies and company firms being presented. Governmental agencies will not be any useful for international students even for students with green card as their requirement for getting an internship/a job is to be US citizen. The company firms are always to show competitive moments however my majors are not entitled for me to do any internships or a work there even though I have a green card. How favoritism with prejudice is being played on the campus of Gallaudet University? Favoritism is viewed at the level of where professors, staffs and students get picked over their favorite meaning of showing that this person is their favorite over other things even though based on being the person’s side for wherever it may be. It is viewed to select people for job positions/clubs to join based on favoritism to support the point at all levels. Prejudice within favoritism is always going to be there as it is about the judgement to use as well as the assumption based on gossiping stories with no truth is to be found. This kind of structural method often is to affect many international students including students of colors. Within all circumstances among students’ life on campus, I have been observant in noticing that every word or every story is played all around with no total privacy. The boundaries to cross in using favoritism and prejudice via judgement and gossiping stories is definitely not defined to support the version of diversity, inclusion and equality. It brings the discomfort-ability, and blockage to regain in a positive way for academic and professional purposes. Witnessing this issue in my time when I used to be student for my BA degree and seeing it to be continued in occurring toward present students even to alumni students, it is shockingly to see Gallaudet University being blind in using that kind of practice without to follow the main cores of diversity, inclusion and equality. 

     What is prevalent at this moment at Gallaudet University with the issue of inequality and racism? Why this university is so not immune to this big matter that is truly impacted in a huge way among all current/alumni students? Scrolling down and seeing the matter via Facebook and discussing with one of them the matter truly have reflected to my mind that it is time for this university to roll over their sleeves and start implementing the true meaning of diversity, equality, inclusion based on civil rights/human rights laws for all professors, staffs, current and alumni students. Speaking of the story being referred to an anonymous alumni student whose experiences were impacted with struggle and oppression due to being deaf black person has therefore raised the flag that people of colors truly matter among the deaf community with the various disabilities. The problematic trend with racism involving the injustices that portray in the erasure of history regarding black lives related with civil rights movement including for those people in calling people of colors with inappropriate words showing the racist mentality and bad references projecting no respect and understanding of how valuable is the civil rights movement for all people of color in everyday life. Everyday, the anonymous alumni student had to survive throughout all academic years with people projecting with racist behavior toward him and toward other people of colors and the way they have treated him for no good purpose he needed to get well served while he was student pursuing with true future opportunities. However, he did call, asked for and tried to advocate with the concern that the racist behavior and the erasure of history for people of colors related with civil rights movement including the biases shall be ceased and provide a visibility of diversity, equality and inclusion for all present/alumni students. Oppression, discrimination, societal barriers, stigma, and biases, injustices with inequality, racism and so on are to be eradicated. My view however is that this university represents for all deaf/deaf-blind, hard of hearing and disabled deaf the equality and the inclusion regarding of total access to all classes being thought in sign language and total breakage of barriers for their future employment. The matter to diversity is missing out and it is not well served within that university. Diversity is vital for everyone including for people of colors on equal footing. 

     Civil rights law and human rights law are the main cores to pinpoint the values, the laws and the rules we all shall live with total respect and equality with inclusion for all within all sectors of employment, education and health care. An example for Cornell University based on policy and initiatives for diversity, inclusion and equality is well recognized with total compliance for Federal and State laws including the civil rights/human rights laws in which it truly brings to have equal education and employment for all with commitment to an educational setting and workplace that is free from discrimination with biases, stigma, oppression and harassment. The main goal for all current/former students, professors and staffs with diverse backgrounds and experiences is to bring great value to education, discovery, creativity, and engagement which is reflected in the history of diversity and inclusion. It is to this point that Gallaudet University shall serve in this exact example with good cause for all deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, disabled deaf and hearing people on the campus. True to my heart, the values enshrined for civil rights law and human rights law for education and workforce setting in all universities is vital to serve the commitment in which is to make for all current/former students, professors and staffs in total equality with inclusion and diversity. Professors and staffs in all settings is thus to be there for all current and former students. All are there to address the issues, to seek a solution for future perseverance, and to represent the commitment to all values enshrined in civil rights law and human rights law. At this point, all shall be referred to Equal Education and Employment Opportunity in which it safeguards the whole point that all are there to receive, to gain and be part of it in getting the equal opportunities at academic and employment level. Time has come and it is the call needed to address with my voice in advocating the concern among all students- current and former, staffs and professors. Goal is to reshape the university serving that exact goal and we all can do it! 

Deafness’ Approachment toward Inclusion, Diversity and Equality

Seeing through the lenses of my life with deafness, I notice at all levels even in the workplace that nobody gets to the point to accept that the different abilities can contribute equally with diversity to the society as being disabled or non-disabled. Approachment with deafness and all kinds of disabilities is something needed to be addressed here with total advocacy. The time has come to this to reveal regarding of my experiences about how approach my issues with my deaf identity.

I approach my issues with my deaf identity by showing that I am capable of anything except that I cannot hear very well. Many do not see how my disability can be contributed to the office’s goals/missions because they look at it differently. While for me that disability shows no difference at all as we all are human beings and we all have different abilities to do regarding all types of job positions. Disability and non-disability is to contribute mutually and to each other to benefit as to make one society as a whole. World is never born to be perfect. World is born to have differences with different abilities.

I am deaf, I can write, read, and analyze but in communication setting- I need an access to communication via services in order for me to have a total participation. Regarding of this, I can be creative and adapt to the requiring things that most jobs need to be met. Experiencing to live in all countries and identifying myself regarding of this as a multicultural person is an asset to my disability making more advantageous at employment level. In all of job positions is always to work with a computer for projects to write, data to evaluate, social media to monitor, to read analyses plus many more that involves for duty responsibilities to perform but one and one of the most important of all is an email to produce for communication with a total participation to fulfill the tasks to the fullest. Of course, in all job setting, an office phone and cell phone are always to exist no matter what. What is the most accessible for all people with deafness/deafblind at the employment level of the job? Definitely, it is the computer with emails which is to make total accessibility including to produce notetaking notes for me to read when I am in the meeting. Regarding of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the US, it is defined in the saying that it gives rights of equal access to places of public accommodation and in Title III is said to have requirement being met for deaf and hard of hearing people for the businesses and agencies to remove the total barriers to communication. Except the US with this disability rights law, my saying for other countries to comply well within this kind of law is poorly performed and provide insufficient resources to accommodate the accessibility services for communication for all deaf/deafblind people. So for the US, I am aware that I am able to get the accessibility services in no question being asked. The point is that it takes forever to get these accommodated services in spite of financial burden the offices need to provide for. In a reality, we all have computers, home phone and cell phone at the employment level but the office phone definitely does not meet the criteria of all deaf/deafblind people. Having the computer for emails and cellphone fpr text messages make the accessibility source to include all deaf/deafblind people on equal basis for teamwork to have an inclusive participation. The only thing is leaving the whole point is that I will always be a bit behind regarding to access to information. Being behind regarding to access to information is that all people who are non-disabled keep to communicate at all levels forgetting that the disabled ones – deaf/deafblind and hard of hearing are there. My view is that the non-disabled have the communication access in receiving the information and in speaking freely the context with deep discussion due their hearing abilities. The hearing abilities are the powerful tool people often to look for in getting the needed things in a very competitive manner. My deafness during the job interview and even at the employment often is looked to be a competitive manner no matter what. Showing my abilities, my critical analysis and creativity needed to present in order to get the job, I often use the spoken language and sometimes the sign language interpreters. The spoken language and my signing language regarding of my deafness, I always try my best to make a point to contribute something with my identity for the office in meeting their goals/mission in an equal footing. My contribution with my abilities have produced to be powerful asset to them however that contribution seemed to them of not being well enough competitive regarding of other candidates. The same thing happens when I am at work trying to process well the information in a very quick manner via the spoken language without the access to sign language interpretation, computer to write emails, note-taking or something like that. The point is that people in a reality looks for people who get quickly the information and quickly to be able to respond no matter what while for me it needs a moment till I get the whole point via the lip-reading/written communication. For hearing, it is the communication tool that makes them powerful to compete while the deaf/deafblind and hard of hearing are unable as they always leave behind due to not being able to access fully to the information/communication. It is applied for job interviews to look at this way when deaf/deafblind and hard of hearing grasp the information via spoken communication.

Many people do not think of providing an equal point in one whole society in the labor market. They only will look at how much people can compete, how much people can be well persuasive in the communication setting and how well the person represents the experience via communication tools. Deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people are the same as hearing people to have at the same level of education with professional skills but to them it is to look at the assets of power for communication. The point again is that many do not have any patience to this when there is deaf/deafblind and hard of hearing person working in one respective job position. All is about to advance and to compete in completing the nature of work under total pressure. Deaf/deafblind and hard of hearing are able to compete under pressure no matter what and they are very well skilled in a total observation, in seeing the clear picture behind the true words, are able to read well the body language meaning they can detect the lie perception, they have the good skills to grasp the whole information quickly when they read and many more. Imagine that the deaf and hard of hearing people are totally dependable on reading information 24 hours a day including to watch and use the eyes for all communicative tools than through the ears so the point is that they are overly balanced to their eyes than the ears for all the times. The hearing people do two things – hearing and seeing but they miss some things in one whole picture. The deaf/hard of hearing see everything at once while their ears are just totally closed and no receptive sounds for them to get. They only can feel the vibrations at all times. It is why the disability at this point has its own abilities while the non-disabled do not have these kind of abilities.

Inclusion, diversity and equality is what the workforce should search for and make all inclusive between disabled and non-disabled. Barriers for communication should be tackled. Having the obstacle to communication among deaf/deafblind and hard of hearing people is the thing they always have to fight entirely for the rest of their life. This kind of community will always face this struggle in order to achieve equally the opportunities with the non-disabled communities. For them it is slow progress to achieve regarding of communication access while for the non-disabled is the quick progress to achieve depending the resources available to get via candidacy pooling, networking and competing moments in life.

Awareness of Deaf Rights at Employment

    The word “awareness” brings an important notion for the community of deaf people with deaf rights. Deaf rights is to be identified in the group of disability rights law. Speaking of awareness of deaf rights is to be specified within the employment level. Many deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people have struggles to bring awareness, adaptability and make a positive contribution at employment level in any agencies, companies and NGOs regarding their abilities with professional skills related with disabilities. In true reality, many with their disabilities are having reluctance/awkward moments, self-confidences issues, and insecurities when it comes for a job interview or when it is about to place a reasonable accommodation with accessible services at workforce place due to the struggles they have experienced with oppression, stigma, societal attitudes and all forms of discrimination. Bringing awareness of deaf rights into hearing society at employment level is to come in breaking the stereotypes and overcoming preconceptions regarding disabilities. On the other level, it is also about to break the barriers by using their rights enshrined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), civil rights law related with labor and equal opportunity employment and human rights law in the US.

    Awareness is to bring in educating among people about disability rights and share a knowledge of the various abilities the deaf/the deaf-blind and hard of hearing people can do in all kinds of levels related with educational and professional skills with its own challenges in the workforce place. Discrimination, stigma, societal attitudes and oppression persist to exist however with the awareness to bring is to tackle that issue which is paramount. For the past 45 years the US has made an advancement with law for people with disabilities. We currently have Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These five laws represent modern national disability employment policy that define prohibition on discrimination in federal, state, local government programs, contracts and employment including at business company and the NGOs, promotion on accessibility services,  requirements to follow in establishing accommodations for workers with disabilities and provide a guidance of creating a workforce system designed to increase labor force participation and employment of people with disabilities in the public and private sectors. It has been noted that federal government has become the largest employer of individuals with disabilities as it has taken steps to provide increasing levels of recruitment, hiring and retention of people with disabilities. State governments, private and public sector of employments referring to business companies and NGOs/IGOs do follow the same steps as the federal government does however the awareness of deaf rights has not been well reached there than in the federal governments. 30.8 millions people are with disabilities in the US, the data being mentioned in 2018. The labor force participant rate for people with disabilities is at 21.4% while the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is at 7.3%. (US Senate: Disability Employment – Outdated Laws leave People with Disabilities behind in Today’s economy) The employment gap for people with disabilities remained to have an improvement however we need to address the awareness for deaf/deaf-blind and hard of hearing people at employment level more often. US has so many skilled and qualified deaf/deaf-blind and hard of hearing people with all level of degrees in all kinds of profession. The barriers and the competition is something that deaf/deaf-blind and hard of hearing people often face when there is a job interview. On the other level, many deaf/deaf-blind and hard of hearing people at workforce place have no confidence in raising the awareness about deaf rights related with disability rights. Even though we have all disability rights law in the US, but we also have civil rights law related with equal employment opportunity and human rights law that support the provision altogether for the group of people with all various kinds of disabilities. While we have all kinds of law, all deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people at job interview and at workforce place have the ability to bring and raise awareness regarding of their disabilities with their rights enshrined in all disability rights law. With this awareness at job interview and at workforce place is important to show about what the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people can contribute to the organization based on its own mission/goals. Awareness and contribution often is to go altogether and it is the way to have the ability to break all barriers. Regarding of competition, it is always tough to face when it is about the concern of communication. Competition is always going to be there no matter what even between disabled and non-disabled people in all kinds of profession. My saying for this matter in all level of job position even at job interview and at workforce place is important to bring adaptability in order to realign to the organization’s expectations to meet including their missions/goals. Contribution is very vital to show as it is the only way to bring an impact that is to see the benefit of them being part in any organization in one whole even in one whole community. Indeed, this kind of contribution can bring diversity, inclusion and equality with good adaptability. The only thing is that deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people are not considered to be the special people and they are the human being that they can do all kinds of abilities as the hearing people except that they cannot hear and see. The deafness including the blindness toward the hearing community is to make inclusion with diversity and equality in one whole community in which these kind of disabilities with the hearing people can benefit from each other in making in greatness in all level at public and private sector with their job positions. These groups of disabilities have cultures, American Sign Language and Pro-Tactile American Sign Language and visions with abilities that represent the diversity in the community in one whole altogether with the hearing people sounding more transparency to have and bring more creative ideas to make the society for the greater good. Disabled and non-disabled are to benefit each other in one whole community when working together in which it is to help, to grow, to learn, to develop creative ideas, to contribute, to support, to educate and to advocate in all kinds of topics, themes and issues at political, business and social level.

    Wherever the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people go for job interview or are at workforce place, they shall not feel oppressed with stigma and face the societal attitude including the all kinds of discrimination because facing job interview or being at workforce place is always to be challenging. The challenges are to the point to show through awareness, contribution and adaptability when it is about a job to get or when it is about to work for a job position in doing the achievements in a positive way at any public and private sectors. We all have disability rights law and education which are the powerful tools to bring in raising awareness and to contribute with it for the abilities deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people can show during the job interview and at the workforce.    

Passion about human rights ignited in Guatemala

    How I became passionate about human rights for career development? Is human rights important in my life and does this represent ideally of who I am on the basis of career professionalism and at academic level? The answers to all these are powerful. Being powerful in representing the passion about human rights is to reflect about who truly I am and it is being reflected within my mind and my heart when seeing the human rights injustices.

    Passions about human rights started on the first day arriving in Guatemala City, Guatemala for a business trip in the year of 2012 during the summer time. On this business trip related with my academic course, I was there being represented as Student Ambassador for the United Nations (UN). My professors often kept telling me that my classmates and I shall get prepared for this country despite of security issues related with drug trafficking going on. Many said it is dangerous country and many were concerned about how I will make it there with communication regarding of my deafness however it did not prevent me from going to this business trip. I successfully did find a note-taker who was able to take notes from Spanish to English and vice versa on the computer. The tasks to carry for the business trip as Student Ambassador for the UN was paramount. The goal is to achieve in raising the advocacy issue with local NGOs /civil society within governmental level about human rights with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) being promoted by the UN in Guatemala. Indeed the tasks were significant to be fulfilled however I will not demonstrate here about the tasks given to me for this business trip. The idea is to focus on the question of why my passions on human rights have ignited me in this particular country. I am sure that some of you may have heard or learned about the history involving the civil wars with genocidal massacres between 1960s and 1980s in Guatemala. Once knowing the historical background of this country among the textbooks so well and not knowing in a reality with the actual truths that have happened there within these years, I was incredulously in total shock to see human rights injustices to be still occurred in the year of 2012. Traveling with minibus to visit different NGOs and meet NGOs representatives, survivors, victims and governmental representatives, I was highly impacted by their stories and even though to see in a reality of what position this country was in. Yes, the country did experience lots of issues regarding of human rights, civil rights, labor right, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and environmental rights. Witnessing the discrimination ongoing in the Guatemalan society with Mayan people and European born citizens of Guatemala including the civil rights violations and inequality being presented have hit me harder to see the real picture. The issues are lot to demonstrate. Mayan people are fighting for their rights – land ownership, health care access based on their cultural beliefs, educational access with their tribal languages, cultural and religious practices related with agricultural things and many more. On the other level, myself being on this business trip was the thing I was not prepared to witness in the actual events of recovering the genocidal massacres of where Guatemalan government did such horrendous crimes between 1960s and 1980s. The genocide massacres was demonstrated by the Guatemalan government against Mayan people who were conspired in working towards a communist coup. The point is that it was the time that the authorities even from the military level have revealed with heavy burden where the hidden genocidal massacres are so the human remains of loved ones can be properly returned with a good burial process. Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation is one of the NGOs to visit and show us the genocidal massacres including to hear and to learn about the victims’ stories. Showing the actual things and speaking to the representatives of this NGOs, I was appalled and my blood was raging. I have put many thoughts about this matter and I have asked about what I shall do about this in my life. I care about the words LAW and JUSTICE but how these words can be applied to the situation I have witnessed in Guatemala. From this clear picture, I have decided to become an advocate in the field of human rights.

    Living in this life where the world is unfair, I came to the realization that my life should be based on living for a good purpose to achieve in my career. The purpose being build along my studies is to work in the field of human rights. My personality is reflected to look upon the law being enshrined and the justice to be well served with a good dignity. My soul spirits is build in serving for society the human rights law with a fair justice. My calling for human rights is that it is fundamental prerequisites for each human beings leading a minimally good life. Having said this, I say in a clear point that in every single’s life is important to exist having human rights based on legal framework in which it is to promote the respect of its own norms. In a society lives are to be based on total equality, fair justice and human rights violations including civil rights/political and economic rights being prevented and the rights to be well guarded from any future harms/damages on each individual being. With this realization and with my passion for human rights, the only way I long for is to advocate for promoting human rights with total justice, equality and fairness being provided within the society. A wise man once said that “a right is not what someone gives, it is what no one can take from you”. Basically, we are born as human beings and we have rights inherent in that reality with dignity and worth of life that exists prior to the law and it is our duty to serve for the evolution of human rights movement with the humanity struggle toward creating a better world. We have the voice and we shall never silence these rights. We shall make our rights aloud serving with total responsibility via education, via advocacy work and via people’s voices for their rights with deep teaching of historical background and legal thinking/analysis of how to make a better world with better protection of human rights norms.

#MeToo in USA and Bulgaria

The legal system related with domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual harassment is broken everywhere. The case for the US and for Bulgaria is completely different. In legal perspective, laws are applied to support the cases in protection of all forms of abuse/harassment against women but it is not strong enough. The US has the best example to bring and yet it needs a new law to building an improvement for situations related with sexual harassment at business industries/governmental agencies and NGOs. Bulgaria has nothing to offer in comparing the matters about that in overall with the US. A new approach is in a need to bring with a true legal reinforcement for all women experiencing domestic violence/sexual assaults and sexual harassment. The influence of #MeToo in worldwide via social media at political level is brought with a wake up call. That momentum is seen to bring the awareness of gendered violence related with women’s oppression and the power centered by men toward women.  The word “stigma” associated with #MeToo is not to reflect at all but it merely is about to reflect upon justice being provided in all matters and the change is to be brought for the best within the political and the industrial level even within the domestic partnerships. 

Highlighting the message from #MeToo – “I see you, I hear you, I believe you” is the significance that draws an attention to me to write about the ongoing issue of jurisprudence related with all matters of violence against women including the sexual harassment in Bulgaria. Paying a close attention to events happening at political/industrial level in this country within the judicial system have reflected to my mind that it is time to bring a positive change for all women to receive a good justice against all kinds of perpetrators. Speaking of that, Bulgaria has established officially a law on protection against domestic violence in 2005. Legally to look at it, it is poorly well written with no clear legal emphasis is being put to criminalize the domestic violence/sexual assault. It is clearly seen for this country to lack in having political influence on the protection against domestic violence and the importance of preventing the sexual harassment. Historically to speak accordingly to the events of domestic violence, Bulgaria has not shown within the criminal system to enact in complying the law for mandatorily to criminalize the domestic violence/sexual assault. What about the matter related with sexual harassment at political and industrial level? From my experiences to speak while living in this country, it is to say of not being recalled due to that nobody does raise this issue to enact in preventing any future sexual harassments in the workforce. In everyday life women in generality become victims of domestic violence/ sexual violence and sexual harassment. It is between a quarter and a third to fell for women experiencing domestic violence/sexual assaults. The statistics to reveal for sexual harassment is remained to be unknown. 

All the info with facts being provided for this matter here, I then ask with question mark about why Bulgaria has officially rejected to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Prevention and Combatting Domestic Violence. The controversy with a turmoil being accompanied have raised a concern for Bulgaria to have accepted this framework unconstitutionally. The cultural perspective with traditional practices and religious habits have reflected a lot in this framework. Feminism is lacking at this point and many would not be able to understand the significance of it when is referred to the matter of domestic violence/sexual assault and sexual harassment. My understanding when reading the Convention on the Prevention and Combating Domestic Violence, it is therefore clearly referred to contribute the educational meaning to enforce within the law the protection providing for all women from any form of domestic violence with criminalization including to put an end on all kinds of stereotypes. It does not refer to oblige legally to recognize the same sex marriage and to imply with new ideologies applied for women and men in a society. The only thing is that Bulgaria is confused in understanding the terminological reference of words such as sex and gender in its own language but in English in which it is referred in an exact way to have its own meaning. Liberally to think based on feministic ideological viewpoint, sex is referred to the origin of biologically to identify the gender while the gender is to refer to the social and cultural differences to apply in its own practice in everyday life. Indeed, the objective of this convention to being ratified within judicial system of Bulgaria will definitely help to provide a good justice, gender equality and a total protection for all women from any form of domestic violence/sexual assault including the understanding to prevent the future sexual harassment. It is the only document for Europe within international law to guide in providing protections and ways to combat all kinds of violence against women. 

How this situation in Bulgaria is being reflected to the US with #MeToo movement? Without to make comparative analysis of judicial framework in providing protection and combating domestic violence/sexual assaults for the US with Bulgaria, I will be speaking about how the legal framework reinforces with seriousness to criminalize all forms of violence against women including to provide prevention of sexual harassment. #MeToo is signified to break the silence among women and men either being perpetrators or victims. The impact of that silence is brought with an attention that justice to have is very important to exist in every single life of all human beings. Jurisprudence plays a powerful role that reinforce the legal framework in providing total protection of women against domestic violence/sexual assaults including to combat it with a total seriousness and to prevent future incidences of sexual harassments within the political and industrial level. Accordingly to criminal law with the concept to follow the common law with its own application for the US has generated to improve emphatically the law for all women including the criminalization of domestic violence/sexual assaults and sexual harassment throughout the years. No one is able to avoid the law facing the matter with criminalization. Police departments and judicial departments including all governmental agencies have learnt strictly to comply the law and to criminalize all forms of domestic violence/sexual assaults and sexual harassment. 

The initiatives addressed for #MeToo to tackle the sexual violence and sexual harassment in a society is brought to a realization of a fact that all kind of workplace needs to have a strong legislation to prevent in ever happening again. This momentum has sparked within the political spectrum raised by all women. Speaking for Bulgaria, this country should follow the example of how the legal framework is reinforced with good legislation and how the advocacy has promoted to bring on the political specter. It is fundamental to have a strong regulation with a protocol being established so the society can have a good judicial system on civil and criminal law. The society in generality needs to have a total protection being provided for all women against all kinds of violence and justice being well served with total fairness. Bulgaria is a member of European Union and it is time for this country to do something in having a good reinforcement of laws related with domestic violence/sexual assaults and sexual harassment. The country should never be left behind with a weak and a broken system. The Bulgarian community is voicing for it aloud and the government needs to pay a serious matter in improving the judicial system in providing protection against domestic violence for all women and in combating it with criminalization. Women are brought within the purview of humanity and it is the purpose within the international law to create a true legal order. Having a true legal order with criminalization is what we need to have including with a greater emphasize on sex education and consent education in public schools. Truth to be told is that crimes happen when education fails. An action for this cause is to make a difference with good significance!